Bats are famously associated with creepiness. They come out at night, live in dark, scary places and communicate with only high-pitch shrieking. Whether on Halloween cards or haunted house, Bats complete one's vision of dark and Gothic. People think bats are downright frightening. But a recent newfound species will show off a softer side to these mammals. These lemon-coloured fuzzballs are discovered in Kenya and irrespective of all their scary remarks, we must say that they are endearing.
Finding new species with such a prominent feature is surprising. But not to scientists as they claim that there could be more of these new yellow-bellied bats. Researchers from Chicago's Field Museum stumbled upon these two new species to understand small genetic differences in the course of creating an evolutionary family tree for Africa's yellow bats. They have published the details of the study on July 11 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. The two newfound species belong to a group of bats known as Scotophilus or African yellow house bats.
In the study, it has been revealed that these bats live close to humans, often roost atop human-made structures. The first one of its type were discovered by Scientists nearly 200 years ago, and since then 21 species have been described across Africa and Southeast Asia, with 13 native to the African continent. In the past 15 years, more than half of these bats were found and the relationships among them have been quite confusing for biologists.
They are not just dressed in yellow, these insect-eating bats weigh up to 85 grams and have bellies tinted in a range of colours. To know where the different species are found and how many inhabit a given region, researchers from Maasai Mara University and the National Museums of Kenya gathered DNA from skin samples taken from the bats in Kenya. Based on their discoveries, further tests across a wider sampling of bats are expected to reveal more new species of yellow house bats.