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The mystery of the orange bat

The unusual orange color of this bat (Phyllostomus hastatus)  has intrigued researchers at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) Rio Claro, in inland São Paulo State.  Its color may be attributed to hormonal characteristics, nutrition or even the bat’s exposure to high concentrations of ammonia.  The pregnant female specimen was captured by trained professionals during the project conducted by biologist Renata Muylaert, who studies how these mammals are responding to the loss of habitat in the remnants of the São Paulo Cerrado.  Muylaert is pursuing a master’s degree in zoology under the advisorship of Professor Milton Cezar Ribeiro, of Unesp, and co-advisorship of Richard Stevens from Texas Tech University.

Photo by Fábio Martins Labecca was submitted by Renata Muylaert of the Unesp Rio Claro Space Ecology and Conservation Laboratory.

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