Veronica's Random Dose - The World's Smallest Bat.
Weighing in about 2 g (0.071 oz) [about the weight of a penny!], and measuring about 1.25 inches, this lightweight flying mammal has been classified as not only the smallest known bat of it's peers; it has also been classed as the smallest mammal of the entire animal kingdom.
Named after it's discoverer; Thai biologist Kitti Thonglongya ; the bumblebee bat or Kitti's hog-nosed bat - as it's commonly named, is definitely a unique specimen.
In addition to being so small, the Kitti's hog-nosed bat possesses a pig-like nose, large ears with swollen ear canal covers, and no tail.
Equipped with a wingspan of approximately five inches long, the Kitti's hog-nosed bat/ bumblebee bat is well adapted for hovering, which works well when feeding time arrives.
Using a combination of *echolocation and their wonderfully adaptable wings, the Kitt's hog-nosed bat/ bumblebee bat plucks small insects (such as spiders) from the foliage of trees, glean beetles from plant leaves, and catches a majority of its prey in flight (such as small flies).
[* "a physiological process for locating distant or invisible objects (as prey) by sound waves reflected back to the emitter (as a bat) from the objects" - Merriam Webster Online Dictionary]
* Habitat and Distribution.
Due to their extreme rarity, the Kitti's hog-nosed/bumblebee bat, can only be found in the Sai Yok National Park in Thailand and in south-eastern parts of Myanmar .
Considering their size, staying warm is extremely important. Therefore, the preferred roosting spots of these unique bats are in the warm upper regions of limestone caves with high ceilings, consisting of a bevy of chambers - providing more protection and minimizing the loss of this little bat's body heat.
* Conservation/Survival Risk.
Unfortunately, due to logging, road construction, tourism, and deforestation, the very survival of the Kitti's hog-nosed bat/bumblebee bat is at risk.
According to the 2008 IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species , this tiny bat has been classified as vulnerable, which means that it is likely to become endangered unless the circumstance threatening its survival and reproduction improve. Fortunately for this rare species, the website www.iucnredlist.org stated that steps are being taken to conserve the fragile habitat of this tiny creature.
Sadly, the population trend of this unique bat is steadily on the decline. Hopefully, with an increased awareness surrounding the plight of these tiny creatures, and further education regarding how mankind's actions are adversely effecting the Kitt's hog-nosed bat/bumblebee bat, the survival rate of these rare specimens will go from vulnerable , to least concerned (stable population).
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