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Tube-lipped Nectar Bat

The Tube-lipped Nectar Bat (Anoura fistulata) is a bat from Ecuador which was first described in 2005. The species name fistulata is derived from the Latin word 'fistula', meaning 'tube'. It refers to the bat's lower lip which extends 3.3-4.8mm beyond the upper lip and is rolled into a funnel shape. The exact function of the tube-lip is unknown. The bat has the longest tongue (8.5 cm) relative to its body size of any mammal; its tongue is 150% the size of its overall body length.

By convergent evolution pangolins, the giant anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and the tube-lipped nectar bat all have tongues which are detached from their hyoid bone and extend past their pharynx deep into the thorax. This extension lies between the sternum and the trachea.

Despite its exceptionally long tongue, the tube-lipped nectar bat has a varied diet that includes nectar, pollen and insects. This arrangement is possible due to its short jaw; the base of the tongue is in the bat's rib cage. One plant, Centropogon nigricans with its 8-9 cm-long corollas, is pollinated exclusively by this bat.

See also

Geoffroy's Tailless Bat

Tailed Tailless Bat

External links

Bat with record-breaking tongue length pollinates highly specialized flower. Nathan Muchhala, Department of Biology, University of Miami.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tube-lipped Nectar Bat

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