Strange New Bat Species Found in Museum Pickle Jar

By Douglas Main | Octobe 31, 2015

Francis’ woolly horseshoe bat was first collected in 1983 in Malaysian Borneo. LONDON NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

In 1983, researcher Charles Francis collected a bat in northeastern Borneo that was brought to London’s Natural History Museum. There, it sat in a pickle jar full of alcohol for three decades.

Within the last two years, scientists happened upon it and examined the specimen. After careful work, they determined it represented a new species that hadn’t been described before, and they dubbed it Francis’ woolly horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus francisi), after its discoverer.

In the course of their research, the scientists also found several representatives of the species elsewhere in the wilds of southeast Asia, such as in Indonesia.

The bat specimen sat in a pickle jar in London’s Natural History Museum for three decades. LONDON NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

Like other horseshoe bats, this newfound creature has a large structure on its face that is shaped somewhat like a horseshoe and is used to collect and focus sound. Like other bats, Francis’ bats echolocate, bouncing sounds beams off of objects to find their way around. Horseshoe bats are particularly well-adapted to hearing the faint fluttering wings of insects, upon which they prey, the museum explained in a release.

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Source: Strange New Bat Species Found in Museum Pickle Jar

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