STL Science Center

STL Science Center

14 November 2016

The Single Video

Whenever we have a little known animal we have few if any videos. Icaronycteris is one of those animals that has very few videos associated with it. The videos that do exist are patchy, but there is a link that calls itself a video of an animation and reconstruction of Icaronycteris. However, it calls the fossil bat a "3D Dinosaur" which we know is not at all accurate and is in fact only a stock photo. The lies of the internet sadly. Instead of looking at the non-videos, we should take today to appreciate the fossil itself. The fossil reveals a typical, as we currently think of them today, bat-like mammal. We cannot see the teeth in this view, but we will see later how they are very much like the bats we know today. As stated previously, this bat, despite being very early in the bat lineage, is already very "modern" in terms of its bat-like morphology. The fingers and the teeth are the most outgroup features of Icaronycteris as the teeth are more like those of a shrew and the fingers retain more primitive claws on the first digit. Most notable about the fossil, the tail is longer than those found in modern bats. This is rather evident in the fossil. What is not evident, unfortunately, is the wing pattern of these old bats. We can see later what this membrane may have looked like, but for now we have only the bones themselves.
©Erik Terdal

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