According to EurekAlert, this prehistoric bat is was the biggest burrowing bat yet known. It has been named as ‘Vulcanops jennyworthyae’, after Jenny Worthy, the team member who discovered the fossil and Vulcan, a mythological Roman god of fire, volcanoes and also a reference to a hotel in St. Bathans, where the fossil was found.
According to historical records, around 50 million years ago, four continents were connected to each other, forming the ancient Gondwana. The global temperature and the entire environment was extremely different from today’s scenario, as the temperature was 54 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is now.
Scientists have discovered the fossils of a giant burrowing bat, which lived millions of years ago in New Zealand.
The researchers said that in the prehistoric age, it roamed around the ancient Lake Manuherikia, which was situated on today’s South Island of New Zealand.
The historic creature was known for its other abilities, apart from flying. As mentioned by scientists, they also move fast on the forest floor, under the leaf litter and along with tree branches while searching for small animals and plant foods.
Trevor Worthy, the co-author and the professor of the Flinders University, said that the discovered fossil has shown that “the prehistoric aviary that was New Zealand also included a surprising diversity of furry critters alongside the birds.”
These ancient bats, along with land turtles, crocodiles and other animals have been lost from New Zealand. According to Professor Paul Scofield of Canterbury Museum, they show that the iconic survivors of the lost fauna – the tuataras, moas, kiwi, acanthisittid wrens, and leiopelmatid frogs – evolved in a far more complex community than previously thought.
In Antarctica, there was no ice but it was covered with forests till the separation of the land, which made the climate cooler in Antarctica. So, Australasia’s burrowing bats became separated from their South American relatives.