STL Science Center

STL Science Center

15 November 2016

Paper Thin Fossil

The American Museum of Natural History holds records for the two most definitive articles written on Icaronycteris. The first article, Simmons and Geisler 1998, describes the familial relationships of the bat, its history, and basically every behavioral and ontogenetic piece of information that has been suggested, tested, and hypothesized about Icaronycteris and Eocene bat populations in general. This tome of information draws from all previous works on the bat and new hypotheses, phylogenetic character descriptions, and their results as interpreted by Simmons and Geisler. An earlier paper that is referenced by the first paper and is also prominent in describing this bat is Novacek's 1987 paper on the auditory capabilities of Eocene bats including Icaronycteris. This paper is shorter, but describes the hearing functionality of what may have been some of the first echolocating flying mammals; adaptations that highly influenced how and why bats behave the way they behave as we know them.

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