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RE: Bats Could Fly Before They Had 'Radar'



> Why couldn't the
> bats have begun as nocturnal gliders, then switched
> to nocturnal fliers some time in the early Cenozoic?

If the ancestors of bats had roughly the same
ecological niche like (unrelated) tupaias, tarsiers
etc - they might have been dedicated frugivores, but
that would change little - that seems only a
reasonable assumption to make.

Higher-level relationships are a very ugly mess here
of course, but the absence of material proof of bat's
more distant ancestors doesn't change the fact that
these animals were, in all probability, not
large-bodied terrestrial critters of open landscape
rather than (relatively) smallish forest inhabitants,
probably arboricoles.

If that assumption is correct, it is very likely that
as soon as chance enabled them to become crepuscular,
they latched onto that. No real reason to revert to
foraging in broad daylight where your "feral"
relatives(?) would be out to get you (Not to mention
certain Enantiornithes).

Nocturnality as opposed to crepuscularity - that is
where sonar comes handy.


Regards,

Eike


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