(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Bumblebee bat
- Kitti’s known as bumblebee bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai Hog Nosed bat, also) is the smallest mammal in the world with only 29-33 mm (1.14-1.29 in) head body length, weighing 1.7-2 g (0.05- 0.07 oz) and possessing a wingspan of approximately 130-145 mm (5.1-5.7 in). This unique creature is the only extant species in Craseonycteridae family and is native to Thailand and Myanmar where it roosts deep inside remote limestone caves near rivers.
- The tiny creature has many astonishing features including its facial appearance with its thickened pig-like snout having two crescent-shaped nostrils, relatively large ears, small eyes. The colour of its body is buffy brown to reddish above whereas paler at the belly.
- They comprise uropatagium which is a big network of skin extending between back legs and help them in flying. There is a swelling at the base of the throat in the males to distinguish them from females. Kitti’s Hog-Nosed bats are active in dawn and dusk both but most active during evening and morning hours and use the technique of echolocation to catch their prey that includes insects like beetles, spiders, small flies, etc.
- The history of their evolution is still unclear. Mostly, other species of bats form large colonies but the Bumblebee bat doesn’t do so as they include 100-500 members in their colonies and in some cases there are only about 10 of them. Unlike other bats, bumblebee bats do not come close to each other but spread out substantially.
- They are listed as threatened by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) with a decreasing population trend. The main reason for the declining population is human disturbance. Fertiliser collection and extraction of limestone from their settlements are among some of the potential threats to their population.
Courtesy: Science Reporter