Remains of a relative of the burrowing bat have been discovered, in a shocking find for scientists around the world.
The bat, “which lived in trees and scurried along the ground,” lived in New Zealand more than 16 million years ago.
Bones and teeth of a massive bat, some three times larger than today’s animal, were found in the ground near St Bathans, New Zealand, by scientists with UNSW Sydney. The discovery team was comprised of researchers from Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the United States.
“This bat was relatively large, with an estimated body mass of [about] 40 [grams], and its dentition suggests it had an omnivorous diet,” the study’s abstract reads. “Its striking dental autapomorphies, including development of a large hypocone, signal a shift of diet compared with other mystacinids, and may provide evidence of an adaptive radiation in feeding strategy in this group of noctilionoid bats.”