Photo: Early Bats Flew First, Developed "Sonar" Later



This 52.5-million-year-old fossil shows that bats learned to fly before they developed their internal "radar" for hunting, a new study says.

The primitive bat lacked the skull features needed for echolocation—possibly laying to rest a theory that the mammals' insect-sensing abilities evolved before flight.

Photograph courtesy Royal Ontario Museum, 2008


NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.