Australian Cave Art Depicts Extinct Prehistoric Bat Species

June 23, 2012 / Australia, Oceania

A previously unknown bat species is believed to have been the subject of a prehistoric cave painting in northern Australia.

The paintings, which could be up to 25,000 years old, depict eight roosting fruit bats hanging on a vine.

Prehistoric Bat Cave Art

Photo by Jack Pettigrew

Researchers studying the artwork have determined that their features that do not match any known Australian bats. Unique white markings on the faces of the bats differentiate the cave paintings from the flying foxes that currently inhabit Australia.

Searching beyond Australia for possible matches, researchers were able to determined that Styloctenium, a bat native to the Philippines is likely the closest living genus to the ancient species in the paintings.

The findings have been published online in the journal Antiquity.

Rock painting reveals unknown bat [BBC]

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    June 27, 2012 at 8:23 am



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