Physical characteristics

A small bat, characterized by the presence of conspicuous horseshoe shaped sucker-like pads on the thumb and soles of the feet. The ears are separate and large, some 1.18-1.38 in (30-35 mm) in length. Each ear has a tragus, which is fused along its anterior edge to the pinna; the meatus is partly closed by this conspicuous mushroom-shaped process, which comprises a kidney-shaped fleshy expansion surmounting a short stalk. The upper lip extends significantly beyond the lower. The pelage is moderately dense and mid-brown to golden brown, with some russet tinges. For this reason, the bat is also known as the golden bat. The ears are very large, and the thumb is quite small and has a vestigial claw. The toes of the feet have only two phalanges and are syndactylous (joined together) for much of their length. The tail projects noticeably beyond the free edge of the interfemoral membrane. The skull is short, broad, and rounded. The tympanic bullae and cochleae are rather large but not peculiar in structure. The hamular processes are unusually long. There are 38 teeth, including two pairs of upper and three pairs of lower incisors, one pair of upper and lower canines, three pairs of upper and lower premolars and three pairs of upper and lower molars.

Old World sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita). (Illustration by Jonathan Higgins)

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