Convergences in the diversification of bats

M. Brock Fenton
2010 Current Zoology  
Twenty-five characters or suites of characters from bats are considered in light of changes in bat classification. The characters include some associated with flower-visiting (two), echolocation (12), roosting (six), reproduction (two) and three are of unknown adaptive function. In both the 1998 and 2006 classifications of bats into suborders (Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera versus Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera, respectively), some convergences between suborders are the same (e.g.,
more » ... oliage roosting, tent building), but others associated with echolocation differ substantially. In the 1998 phylogeny convergences associated with echolocation (high duty cycle echolocation, nasal emission of echolocation calls) occurred among the Microchiroptera. In the 2006 phylogeny, they occur between Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera. While some traits apparently arose independently in two suborders (e.g., foliage-roosting, tent building, low intensity echolocation calls, noseleafs, nasal emission of echolocation calls, high duty cycle echolocation behaviour), others appear to have been ancestral (roosting in narrow spaces, laryngeal echolocation, stylohyal-tympanic contact, oral emission of echolocation calls, and small litter size). A narrow profile through the chest is typical of bats reflecting the thoracic skeleton. This feature suggests that the ancestors of bats spent the day in small crevices. Features associated with laryngeal echolocation appear to be ancestral, suggesting that echolocation evolved early in bats but was subsequently lost in one yinpterochiropteran lineage.
doi:10.1093/czoolo/56.4.454 fatcat:t6ogzgojczf35n3lqrf4oibdr4