Biology of Bats by William Wimsatt (Eds.)

By William Wimsatt (Eds.)

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Compensating for its small eyes and "poor" ocular equipment the animal had a rich and loud vocabulary and it practiced echolocation, as do some modern insectivores, for which it had the requisite vocalizing and auditory and neural structures. In the full denti- 1. B A T ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION 55 tion of 44 teeth the W-pattern of the sharp-cusped upper molars was well developed. No elements of the primary euthere skeleton had been lost or gained. This animal probably had a relatively short life span, with high rates of energy expenditure, and with a large intake of food, and its young were necessarily precocious to escape from predators such as birds (or prebirds), other mammals, and, possibly, pterosaurs and carnivorous gliding and leaping reptiles.

And they are truly ossified, with compact outer layers around inner cancellate bone; they apparently are not merely proximal ossified parts of slender cartilaginous rods such as those that occur in some bats. These ossicles in Icaronycteris may have been tipped with keratinous sheaths as true claws are, and they may have been used as firm parts of the landing gear of Icaronycteris. Digit III, compared with this finger in many modern bats, is very strong and short, appropriately designed for the same function.

Some bats, like some birds, apparently have strong territorial affilia­ tions, have widely varied food habits and food-getting structures, have hollow bones, are powerful vocalizers. Thus, in summary, there are many differences and few similarities in the ways that bats and birds solved similar problems of aerodynamics and got into the air. Birds developed terrestrial bipedal locomotion and freed the forelimbs for flight; bats redesigned the fore and hind legs and feet for multiple duty. IX. Bat Hand-Wings or Wing-Hands A common assumption that the bat's wing has become almost useless for anything but flight (see Winge, 1941, p.

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