New fossil bats video from the Royal Tyrrell Museum: Dr. Gregg Gunnell

The origin of bats
has been THE hottest topic here at the PterosaurHeresies.Wordpress.com blogsite. See earlier posts here, here and here.

“Fossils of the Night – The History of Bats Through Time” is a new YouTube video (53 minutes) brought to you by Dr. Gregg Gunnell from Duke University, speaking in the Royal Tyrrell Museum series on prehistoric topics.

Dr. Gunnell reports:

  1. only one extinct genus of fruit bat/flying fox
  2. 40+ extinct microbats (all echo-locators)
  3. Bats not close to primates, but with carnivores, hooved mammals, etc. (pretty broad!)
  4. Origin to 65 mya according to molecular clock
  5. Appear at 52 mya. We lack bat fossils from the Paleocene
  6. 11 extinct families of bats
  7. Icaraonycteris and Onychonycteris are two of the oldest known fossil bats. (Eocene, 52 mya) complete
  8. Messel bats (48 mya) more or less complete.
  9. More recent bats are bits and pieces, mostly dental taxa
  10. None of these are directly related to living families
  11. By the Pliocene nearly all modern taxa are known from fossils.
  12. Brachial index (forelimb/hindlimb ratio) midway between non-volant and flying mammals.
  13. CT scans of the teeth were made. All the inner halves of the teeth are crushed into small pieces.
  14. Certain lacewings, both extinct and extant, have a auditory organ on the wings that enables them to detect bat sonar. They stop flying when bats are detected.
  15. Bats have a low metabolism for their size. They live for up to 40 years.
  16. Smaller size increases wingbeat and sonar frequencies
  17. ‘Phyletic nanism’ describes body size decrease, island dwarfism. Onychonycteris was 38-40g. Microbats run about 14g.
  18. Gunnell reports on Yi qi, accepting the patagium/extra wrist bone hypothesis, which was falsified here.
  19. The origin of bats — Dr. Gunnell reports we don’t know what came before Onychonycteris.
  20. Nice morph video (5 seconds) of an inverted mammal on a tree trunk turning into a bat at the very end of the presentation.

This origin agrees with the large reptile tree,
which pulls both bats and primates out of carnivores. Here (Fig. 1) the extant Ptilocercus is employed as a model bat ancestor morphotype.

Figure 4. Ptilocercus, Icaronycteris and a hypothetical transitional taxon based on the ontogenetically immature wing of the embryo Myotis. If you're going to evolve wings it looks like you have to stop using them as hands early on. Note in the bat embryo there is little indication of inter-metacarpal muscle. That area looks identical to the web.

Figure 1. Ptilocercus, Icaronycteris and a hypothetical transitional taxon based on the ontogenetically immature wing of the embryo Myotis. If you’re going to evolve wings it looks like you have to stop using them as hands early on. Note in the bat embryo there is little indication of inter-metacarpal muscle. That area looks identical to the web.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “New fossil bats video from the Royal Tyrrell Museum: Dr. Gregg Gunnell

  1. There maybe 60 Mil Y old fossils of bats found in Walbeck, Germany and no specialist with actual knowledge has checked it again ??
    I guess it was reviewed some decades ago… but not with modern methods.

    An owal from the Paleocene of Walbeck, Germany
    Gerald Mayr
    Version of Record online: 22 APR 2008
    Abstract
    An owl of the genus Berruornis is described from a Paleocene fissure filling of Walbeck, Germany. The specimen is a well preserved incomplete right tarsometatarsus and is the earliest Old World record of an owl. A praemaxilla from the same locality which comes from a similarly-sized raptorial bird is described and is clearly distinguished from the praemaxilla of all extant raptorial birds. Although it might also belong to Berruornis, the specimen is classified as Aves incertae sedis in this study. Despite the fact that the Walbeck material was discovered more than 60 years ago, these two specimens are the first bird bones to be described from the numerous avian remains found at this locality.

    Language German
    https://www.google.de/search?q=Fossillagerst%C3%A4tte+Walbeck&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=Iaw9V9f3CYHnUqKPuWg
    A special highlight a few upper molars, which can be referred to a sister taxon of today’s bats may and therefore are among the earliest evidence of this lineage. So far, the findings were still associated with a particular taxon.

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