December 2016
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PalaeovertebrataVol.40-2: 2016
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An evening bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the late Early Eocene of France, with comments on the antiquity of modern bats
Suzanne J. Hand, Bernard Sigé, Michael Archer and Karen H. Black
Keywords: evolution; palaeobiogeography; Prémontré; Western Europe; Ypresian

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e2

Cite this article: Hand S. J., Sigé B., Archer M., Black K. H., 2016. An evening bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the late Early Eocene of France, with comments on the antiquity of modern bats. Palaeovertebrata 40 (2)-e2. doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e2

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Bats are among the most numerous and widespread mammals today, but their fossil record is comparatively meagre and their early evolution poorly understood. Here we describe a new fossil bat from dental remains recovered from late Early Eocene sediments at Prémontré, northern France. This 50 million-year-old bat exhibits a mosaic of plesiomorphic and apomorphic dental features, including the presence of three lower premolars, a single-rooted p3, short p4 with metaconid, myotodont lower molars and a tall coronoid process of the dentary. This combination of features suggests it is an early member of Vespertilionidae, today’s most speciose and geographically widespread bat family. The Prémontré bat has bearing on hypotheses about the origins of vesper or evening bats (Family Vespertilionidae), as well as crown-group chiropterans.


Published in Vol.40-2 (2016)


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