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... sharing news from the Mammal Atlas project with the bird atlasers ...
Hi everyone. It is Mad Mammal Monday again!! Today we feature the The Mauritian Tomb Bat is a species of sac-winged bat in the family Emballonuridae that is found in central and southern Africa and Madagascar. It was discovered in 1818 by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, and is characterized by an all-white ventral surface, grizzled dorsal colouration, and a conical face. Mauritian Tomb Bats help control pest populations, including insects that carry human diseases. These bats tend to be nocturnal hunters and their normal prey consists of moths, butterflies, and termites. They are not prone to large scale roosting, and are most often spotted on the sides of buildings or on tree trunks in groups of around five individuals. Tomb bats breed and give birth to a single young during the summer months, twins are occasionally reported.
The Mauritian Tomb Bat is distinguished from other species of bat by a completely white ventral area. Its dorsal surface is a mottled colour consisting of several shades of brown, gray, and white, which creates a grizzled "salt and pepper" appearance. Its fur is sleek and short, and the wing membranes are beige and primarily translucent. The wings are long, narrow, and shorten when not in flight in a way that facilitates crawling, a trait unique to this genus. Sexes are similar in colour and size. They have large eyes and triangular-shaped, erect, ears. The inner margins of the ear lack papillae, which is the inner sensory surface of the bat's ear. Mauritian tomb bats are one of the larger species in the Microchiroptera suborder, fully grown adults weigh anywhere from 25–36 g, with its forearm measuring 58–64 mm. The total length is from 100–110 mm.
The photo featured here is from the MammalMAP, the African Mammal Atlas Project. You can have a look at this record in the MammalMAP Virtual Museum, where it is record 19. The photo was taken 23 km north of Malelane in the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga Province. You can help us to conserve this amazing bat species by submitting your photos to the Virtual Museum for MammalMAP at vmus.adu.org.za.