William Wimsatt (Eds.)'s Biology of Bats PDF

By William Wimsatt (Eds.)

ISBN-10: 0127580018

ISBN-13: 9780127580012

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11. B A T ORIGINS 36 GLENN L. JEPSEN development of acoustical areas that were capable of functioning in the techniques of echolocation. For many years the belief was often repeated that Archaeopteryx was really a kind of flying reptile with a reptile's brain and a bird's feathers. Recently Jerison (1968) has reexamined and reinterpreted an endocranial cast of this bridge-bird and has concluded that Jurassic Archaeopteryx has a brain in . an intermediate stage of evolution, clearly nonreptilian, more or less avian, but not modern" (p.

This comment grossly simplifies the probable complexities of the processes, but it suggests, however tenuously, that birds evolved earlier than bats did and that insectivorous bats were antecedent to fruit bats. Insects have acquired various kinds of volitional and autonomic behavioral systems that act as bat-evading (escape) mechanisms, and the development of such structures as scales by insects may also be partly a function of the predator-prey relationship. Microbats, regarded as being among the most imperfectly homeothermic of mammals, do of course develop their energy budgets correlative with climate, food supply, and behavior.

17. 1. BAT ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION 47 48 GLENN L. JEPSEN their index finger is reduced to the small incomplete clawless digit that is closely associated with the strong third finger as a brace along the leading edge of the wing? Some authors have effortlessly assumed that the index claw of Icaronycteris was a useless vestigial structure well on the way to being mutated out through selection. This theory, of course, is possible only retrospectively. When it is regarded without commitment to its future disappearance the taloned index digit of Icaronycteris may be seen as a comparatively strong, powerfully mus­ cled, and highly functional part of the bat, a sharp-pointed finger for catching insects and other prey, impaling grubs, feeding, climbing, walk­ ing, clinging, piercing, scraping, grooming, and for offense and defense, with possibly, some advantageous properties of weight distribution and aerodynamics for a flying animal.

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Biology of Bats by William Wimsatt (Eds.)

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