Weekly Article: Two Newly Discovered Species of Dog-Faced Bats

Two Newly Discovered Species of Dog-Faced Bats

By: Raquel Zuniga

Great news, batty friends! The list of 1,300+ global bat species has welcomed two new members! These newly discovered species, native to Ecuador and Panama, have been added to the Genus Cynomops, or dog-faced bats. 

The Waorani dog-faced bat (Cynomops tonkigui) was named to honor the Waorani tribe of Ecuador, some of whom live in the same forest where these bats were captured and studied. Freeman's dog-faced bat (Cynomops freemani) was named after bat researcher Patricia Freeman.

When caught, researchers didn’t realize that they were dealing with a new species until they observed the DNA and compared it to the other six known dog-faced bats.  Ligiane Moras, lead author of the study, explained to the Smithsonian Insider: “After characterizing the body shapes of 242 dog-faced bats from museum collections across the Americas and Europe, comparing their DNA, and adding in field observations including sound recordings, we consider there to be eight species in this group, two of them new to science.”  Moras led this project as a fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, D.C. during part of her doctoral studies at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Field observers were able to capture a recording of the Freeman bat’s echolocation. The stored sound data has been added to bat detector software, which can be used to re-identify the species again in future studies.

Read more about these newly discovered species at:

http://insider.si.edu/2018/01/sky-puppies-scientists-discover-two-new-species-dog-faced-bat/

or

http://www.newsweek.com/photos-two-new-species-bats-look-dogs-discovered-south-america-786876

And read the original published paper here:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1616504717300964?via=ihub