Abstract

Themusculature of the hyoid regions of two species of bats (Order Chiroptera) from two separate families, Natalidae and Furipteridae, were examined using standard microscopic dissection techniques. Morphological variation was described and characters were scored and entered into the computer program PAUP, Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony, along with characters of families previously examined by Griffiths. Cladistic analysis revealed support for the placement of Natalidae and Furipteridae together within the Superfamily Nataloidea, along with the families Thyropteridae and Myzopodidae, as recently proposed by Simmons (1998). The inclusion of Myzopodidae is surprising from a geographical standpoint. Myzopodids are endemic to Madagascar, while thyropterids, natalids and furipterids are found in Central America and northern South America. Thus, the placement of the Myzopodidae with the other three sympatric families implies that all four of these, families share an unknown common ancestor in Africa, perhaps an unknown fossil species of bats.

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Biology

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