GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Community News Network

April 30, 2013

Discovering a bat that's in a league of its own

Researchers in the grasslands of South Sudan were taken by surprise when they first spotted a beautifully patterned bat with pale yellow spots and stripes on dark black fur.

DeeAnn Reeder, an associate professor of biology at Bucknell University, and Adrian Garside, a program officer from the conservation group Fauna & Flora International, were working in Bangangai Game Reserve with South Sudan's Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism. One evening, while observing bats on rocky grassland next to a stagnant pool, Reeder spied the creature.

"My attention was immediately drawn to the bat's strikingly beautiful and distinct pattern of spots and stripes. It was clearly a very extraordinary animal, one that I had never seen before. I knew the second I saw it that it was the find of a lifetime," she says.

After returning to the United States, Reeder found that museums apparently had a few specimens of the same sort of bat, which had been placed in a genus found in sub-Saharan Africa.

But the bat she had spotted, with its elongated skull and beautiful striped pattern, was much larger than those in that genus. Reeder and her colleagues decided the specimen belonged in a genus of its own and have named it Niumbaha superba.

"Niumbaha" means "rare" or "unusual" in Zande, the language of the Azande people of South Sudan, who live near where the specimen was collected.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid