Wednesday, 16 April 2014

New Sweet-Smelling Bat Species Identified

By Megan Gannon, News Editor | April 14, 2014 05:00pm ET

By extracting DNA from museum specimens, scientists have discovered three new species of yellow-shouldered bats.

The fruit-eating bats belong to the Sturnira genus. They can grow to be 0.5 to 3 ounces (14 to 85 grams) in size and live in tropical and montane forests from Mexico to northern Argentina. The creatures get their colloquial name from the males' shoulder glands, or epaulettes, which have a yellowish tint and give off a fragrant scent, said Bruce Patterson, curator of mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago.

"It's vaguely sweet and well-balanced and invites a deeper sniff," Patterson told Live Science in an email. "Having handled some 100+ species of bats, I can say unequivocally that they are the best-smelling."

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