Skip navigation
C. Molecular Data Reveals Possible New Insight into Bats

Narrator: This is Science Today. With the help of molecular and fossil data, researchers have been piecing together interesting and different stories about the history of mammal evolution. For example, Mark Springer, a professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, says they've made a surprising discovery about bats.

Springer: With bats, you've got two major groups. Traditionally, the mega bats do not have these complex echolocation systems. The other group that does have the complex echolocation systems is the microbats. The traditional view is that the mega bats are each other's closest relatives and all of the micro bats are each other's closest relatives.

Narrator: But Springer says, the molecular data suggests some of the microbats - including horseshoe and false vampire bats - are actually more closely related to the megabats than to the microbats.

Springer: If that is correct, then one of the implications is that the evolutionary history of these complex echolocation systems, based on pulses that are emitted by the larynx, is more detailed than we previously believed.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.