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This Bat Wears a Face Mask

by Scientific American
December 11th 2020
The wrinkle-faced bat covers its face with a flap of skin, seemingly as part of its courtship rituals.
This'll episode is brought to you by nourished by nature made the number one pharmacist recommended. Vitamin and supplement brand nourishes a personalized vitamin regimen customized to you. Backed by 45 years of science, they removed the guesswork from your vitamin regimen with thousands of happy customers. Nourishes a trusted supplement brands by many. Visit nourish dot com to create your customized package today. Thistles. Scientific Americans, 60 Seconds. Science. I'm Suzanne barred. What do you call a bat that Onley eats fruit but isn't classified as one of the fruit bats? One species that fits that description is thought to live in forests from southern Mexico to the north end of South America. But they're so rarely seen that very little is known about them apart from their unique appearance, which is why the species

is called the wrinkle faced bat. Many people say that these bats are really ugly, but the bird ugly is forbade. Biologists forbidden word. So I think we all agree that they are pretty special looking bad. University of Ulm researcher Marco Chaka, his colleague Gloria Guessing Er, agrees. Most bats look like cute little puppies, but they have a very wrinkly face and it's just a lot of wrinkles everywhere. But something else about the males may be an even more unusual facial feature. It's very easy toe distinguish between male and female because the males have this funny face mask using their little bat thumbs, males can pull up a furry flap of skin to cover their faces like a mask. The bad almost tries to hide its entire face. Insight off the mask, and people have suspected for a long time that these masks have something to do with matings. But the bath

courtship is difficult to study because they're so hard to find. That is, until 2018, when Chaka and Guess Singers colleague, University of Costa Rica biologist Bernal Rodriguez Herrera received a tip that a group of males had been spotted in a highland forest. His team rushed there to record their behaviors, using infrared video cameras and specialized microphones. The objective waas that we get as much information as possible about these animals and the bad state there for something like six weeks. The animals formed what's called a lek, where a group of males hangs out in a small area displaying extravagantly two females, an uncommon reproductive strategy and bats. The males start their display by rubbing their fingers together for hours, which looks really weird. Eventually they begin to sing, even with their faces covered. And they do these trills and echolocation calls from their purchase. The drills sounds something

like this s and then the echolocation calls in between and then trails again. Yeah, Thea ultrasound recordings have been slowed down to be in the range of human hearing. Sometimes they put the mask down and up again, and then they continue singing. But if another bad approaches, they start making noise with their wings, followed by this super loud whistle sequence. After a sequence of sounds, the researchers documented one meeting between a male and a female. They think the raised mask and sounds, along with odor cues, may play an important role in the wrinkle face bats Courtship. The study is in the journal PLOS one. Many questions remain so researchers returned to the site a year later in hopes of learning more about the elusive bats, courtship behaviors. But the bats. We're nowhere to be found

, so you really need to have a lot off luck to learn more about this. Thanks for listening for scientific Americans. 60 seconds. Science. I'm Suzanne barred that recordings courtesy of Bernal Rodriguez Herrera at all.

This Bat Wears a Face Mask
This Bat Wears a Face Mask
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