Tuesday, 3 November 2015

New bat species rises from vaults of London's Natural History Museum

Pickled bat that has lain in the museum for 30 years is a previously unknown species named Francis’ woolly horseshoe bat, experts have confirmed

Press Association
Saturday 31 October 2015 06.01 GMTLast modified on Saturday 31 October 201506.03 GMT

A pickled bat kept in the vaults of London’s Natural History Museum for 30 years is a previously unknown species, experts have confirmed.

The discovery of a new creature of the night at the museum was announced appropriately on Halloween.

It was named Francis’ woolly horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus francisi) after Charles Francis, who collected the specimen in Malaysia in 1983.

A computerised tomography (CT) scanner was used to analyse the animal’s fragile bones without having to touch it.

Museum zoologist, Roberto Portela Miguez, said: “The scan of the bat skull reveals spiky, sharp-edged teeth that would work like scissors to break open the hard outer-body casings of insects.

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