Chapter

Chiroptera

Gregg F. Gunnell

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0030
Chiroptera

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The fossil record of bats is relatively poor, although there are places (for example, the Quercy karst deposits in France) where bat fossils can be quite common. Except for some exceptional preservation in lagerstätten such as Messel in Germany and the Green River Formation in Wyoming, most bat fossils consist of fragmentary skulls and dentitions. Three separate areas preserve fossil bats on the mainland African continent — North, East, and South Africa. The oldest records are from North (early Eocene) and East (middle Eocene) Africa, while East and South Africa have the best records of Plio-Pleistocene bats. Additionally, there is a restricted sample of late Oligocene bats from Taqah, Oman, on the nearby Arabian Peninsula and good samples of subfossil bats from Madagascar. The African fossil bat record includes scant records of pteropodids (Old World fruit bats) from the Miocene and Pliocene and from Pleistocene and subfossil samples from Kenya and Madagascar. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Chiroptera.

Keywords: Africa; paleontology; Chiroptera; fossils; bats; Eocene; Oligocene; pteropodids; Miocene; Madagascar

Chapter.  10863 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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