McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

May 2, 2013

Discovering a bat that's in a league of its own

Researchers in the grasslands of South Sudan were taken by surprise when they first spotted a beautifully patterned bat with pale yellow spots and stripes on dark black fur.

DeeAnn Reeder, an associate professor of biology at Bucknell University, and Adrian Garside, a program officer from the conservation group Fauna & Flora International, were working in Bangangai Game Reserve with South Sudan's Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism. One evening, while observing bats on rocky grassland next to a stagnant pool, Reeder spied the creature.

"My attention was immediately drawn to the bat's strikingly beautiful and distinct pattern of spots and stripes. It was clearly a very extraordinary animal, one that I had never seen before. I knew the second I saw it that it was the find of a lifetime," she says.

After returning to the United States, Reeder found that museums apparently had a few specimens of the same sort of bat, which had been placed in a genus found in sub-Saharan Africa.

But the bat she had spotted, with its elongated skull and beautiful striped pattern, was much larger than those in that genus. Reeder and her colleagues decided the specimen belonged in a genus of its own and have named it Niumbaha superba.

"Niumbaha" means "rare" or "unusual" in Zande, the language of the Azande people of South Sudan, who live near where the specimen was collected.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.