Fuzzy ‘Grandpa’ Bat Looks Just Like A Dog With Wings

“I can see how folks may be astonished and claim that it’s Photoshopped.” Bats, being hairy, mammalian residents of the sky, sometimes resemble canines (thus the moniker “flying fox”). However, this strangely charming fruit bat shares more than a passing similarity.

He resembles a dog with wings. Nicolas Nesi, a postdoctoral research associate at Queen Mary University of London, investigates fruit bat evolution. While researching on his PhD thesis in the West African lowlands in 2009, Nesi stumbled discovered one of the most stunning individuals of this unusual species – a Buettikofer’s epauletted bat. This is how nature created them.

“Because this is an adult male specimen, he appears to have a dog head,” Nesi told The Dodo. “Adult males have a big nose with huge lips that resemble those of dogs.”

This species’ males additionally have epaulets of long white hair surrounding scent glands on their shoulders that may be blown out or retracted to entice possible mates. It also contributes to the fluffy dog-like appearance. So much so that people frequently have difficulty believing this bat is genuine.

“I’ve worked with this species before, so I know what to expect,” Nesi explained. “However, I can see how some may be astonished and claim that it is Photoshopped.” While these animals are visually stunning, they are more than simply a nice face. Buettikofer’s epauletted bats, like all bat species, play an important part in maintaining the balance of their ecosystems.

“Fruit bats are highly essential because by consuming fruit, they distribute seeds and hence contribute to forest regeneration,” Nesi explained. “Fruit bats are also essential pollinators in tropical and desert habitats, as are insect and bird species.”

In other words, just like dogs, this bat is a really nice guy.

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