India’s First Bamboo-Dwelling Bat:
Meghalaya has yielded India’s first bamboo-dwelling bat with sticky discs, taking the species count of the flying mammal in the country to 130.
- The disc-footed bat (Eudiscopus denticulus) was recorded in the north-eastern State’s Lailad area near the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, about 1,000 km west of its nearest known habitat in Myanmar.
- There are a couple of other bamboo-dwelling bats in India.
- But the extent of adaptation for bamboo habitat in this species is not seen in the others.
- The flattened skull and sticky pads enabled the bats to roost inside cramped spaces, clinging to smooth surfaces such as bamboo internodes.
- The disc-footed bat was also found to be genetically very different from all other known bats bearing disc-like pads.
- Scientists analyzed the very high-frequency echolocation calls of the disc-footed bat, which was suitable for orientation in a cluttered environment such as inside bamboo groves.
- The disc-footed bat has raised Meghalaya’s bat count to 66, the most for any State in India.
- It has also helped add a genus and species to the bat fauna of India.