Where Are All The Female Bats?

Having large sucker-like structures that allow them to stick to vertical surfaces isn't the weirdest thing about the sucker-footed bat of Madagascar. The real mystery that surrounds them is that no one has ever found a female of the species:

"We have netted enough times and in enough different places at Kianjavato to be sure they are not there," Prof Racey told the BBC. "We have netted up and down the valley and not found anything.

"We have also found a new population nearer the coast 100km away, but all males."
At Kianjavato, the researchers have so far located 133 roosts of sucker-footed bats, which roost in the partially unfurled leaves of the so-callled Traveller's tree (Ravenala madagascariensis), a well-known plant in Madagascar that looks much like a banana tree.

Each roost contained between nine and 51 individual males.

"My research assistant Mahefa Ralisata emailed this morning to say she had just netted another 26 males at Kianjavato, no females," says Prof Racey.


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