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Meghalaya: Scientists Discover India's First Disk-footed Bat Near Wildlife Sanctuary

Scientists in Meghalaya have discovered a new species of bats which has tangerine hued “disk-like pads” on its thumb. The discovery was made by a ZSI team.

Representative Image/ Credits: Pixabay 

Representative Image/ Credits: Pixabay 

Scientists in Meghalaya have discovered a new species of bats which has tangerine hued “disk-like pads” on its thumb. The breakthrough discovery was made by a team lead by Dr Uttam Saikia, who is affiliated with Zoological Survey of India. With the latest finding, the count of bat species found in India has touched 130, out of which 66 are found in the northeastern state itself.

Eudiscopus denticulus

In the research, which was published in Swiss Journal Revue Suisse de Zoologie, Dr Saikia revealed that the species has been named as Eudiscopus denticulus which roughly translates to “disk footed bat.” Citing the reason behind the name, the researcher added as they found the species, the team discovered that the bat had “disk-like pads on its thumb with bright orange coloration.” He further stated that the team found the bat while sampling a bamboo patch in Lailad area, which lies adjacent to Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Image Credits: Dr Uttam Saikia/ZSI

“From the modifications in its feet, it was presumed to be a bamboo-dwelling species which was later identified as a disk-footed bat. This bat is reported to roost inside bamboo internodes aided by its adhesive disks. So far, this species has only been reported in a few localities in Southern China, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar," Dr Saikia said in a statement.

"Very interestingly, despite a large geographic distance separating the samples, they were found to be identical. And they were also found to be genetically very different from all other known bats bearing disk like pads," he further added.

Researchers have hypothesized that Eudiscopus bats from Vietnam and Meghalaya may have a very recent common origin and all existing bat populations expanded from the same region, following recent expansion of man-made bamboo forests. From the analysis of the high frequency echolocation calls of the Meghalayan bat species, they noted that the call structure is suitable for orientation in a cluttered environment like inside bamboo groves.

Representative Image/ Credits: Pixabay 

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