Scientists: Maureen O'Leary, Andrea Cirranello, Paul Velazco, Nancy Simmons
This project aims to understand the diversity of form in the skulls and teeth of bats -- the only mammals that fly. Different bat species have very different diets. Most feed on insects, but other species eat animals, fish, fruit, nectar, pollen, or even blood (vampires). The shapes of bat skulls and teeth reflect these dietary habits, but also contain information useful for understanding bat evolution. We aim to use details of skull form to build a family tree of bats that can be used to better understand the evolution and diversity of these amazing animals.