MyzopodidaeOld World sucker-footed bat

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The single species in this family, Myzopoda aurita, is found only in Madagascar, although there are fossil myzopodids known from Pleistocene beds in Africa. Like the neotropical Thyropteridae, myzopodid bats have suction-cups on their wrists and ankles that allow them to roost inside rolled leaves. The suction cups appear to have been evolved independently of those found on thyropterid bats. Myzopodids are placed in the superfamily Vespertilionoidea.

Myzopodids are medium-sized bats with large ears. Their toes have only two phalanges, and they are united for most of their length. The thumb is small and has a vestigial claw, similar to the New World furipterids. The premaxillae are fused and their palatal branches define two palatal foramina. The dental formula of myzopodids is 2/3, 1/1, 3/3, 3/3 = 38, and the molars are dilambdodont.

Little is known about the natural history of this rare species. Its members are believed to be insectivorous.

Technical characters

References and literature cited:

Anderson, S. and J. K. Jones, Jr., 1984. Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 686pp.

Feldhamer, G. A., L. C. Drickamer, S. H. Vessey, and J. F. Merritt. 1999. Mammalogy. Adaptation, Diversity, and Ecology. WCB McGraw-Hill, Boston. xii+563pp.

Fenton, M. B., P. Racey, and J.M. V. Rayner (eds.), 1987. Recent Advances in the Study of Bats . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Hill, J. E. and J. D. Smith, 1992. Bats: A Natural History . University of Texas Press, Austin.

Nowak, Ronald M., 1994. Walker's Bats of the World . Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Vaughan, T. A., J. M. Ryan, N. J. Czaplewski. 2000. Mammalogy. Fourth Edition. Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia. vii+565pp.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder. 1993. Mammal Species of the World, A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 2nd edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. xviii+1206 pp.

Contributors

Bret Weinstein (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (author), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate