Aug 1, 2009

Ode to the Horseshoe Bat

So take a good look at my face
My nasal flap looks out of place
It's my sella meant to facilitate
Hearing far away objects

The above is a little known additional verse to Smokey Robinson's beloved Tracks of My Tears. It was his ode to Bourret’s horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus paradoxolophus. More specifically, to the flap of skin pointed to in the image below. I can see what it was removed from the LP for mass market appeal, but many chiropteraphiles were outraged by the ommission.

Researchers believe that such a flap allows the bats to better ping objects in the distance with their echo location, thereby getting a better sense of what's out there. After doing some computer modeling, the researchers determined that if the flaps got too long, there would be a diminishing of returns. As it would happen, the three species that sport such a large flap have the length dialed in on the sweet spot.

Thanks for the bat, Judy.

Photo source: Rolf Müller via


Anonymous said...

I love bats. I think I'm the only person I know who thinks they are cute.

The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls said...

I wonder is the bats with large flaps get a complex about it!?!?