When Bats Took Flight

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • Bats pretty much appear in the fossil record as recognizable, full-on, flying bats. And they show up on all of the continents, except Antarctica, around the same time. So where did bats come from? And which of the many weird features that bats have, showed up first?

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the early bat illustrations! Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at http://alphynix.tumblr.com

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios

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    References: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VPccWSNkODzBifBt4R-RI8nApVRKe5pSfG8qeouiZqE/edit?usp=sharing
  • Source: https://youtu.be/zWeYCULC0UQ


  • Dave Ridlespriger 2

    Dave Ridlespriger 2

     3 hours ago


  • Ramna Viaz

    Ramna Viaz

     14 hours ago

    So batman is actually whaleman?

  • differous01


     19 hours ago

    Lacewings had been around since the Jurassic, and the nocturnal Green Lacewing, with its echolocation evasion system, evolved in the early Eocene (c50millon yrs ago). Something must have been hunting them. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308952785_Cenozoic_climates_and_the_evolution_of_green_lacewings_Neuroptera_Chrysopidae

  • Alpha Night Fury

    Alpha Night Fury

     21 hours ago

    Can y'all agree on how terrefying bats' skeletons are.

  • Zimrian Zimrian

    Zimrian Zimrian

     23 hours ago


  • 1joshjosh1



    "I like bats"
    Vicki Vale

  • Rusty Nails

    Rusty Nails


    Why does Batman not have "echo location"???

  • joel chan

    joel chan


    But some bats don't echolocate

  • Lexo Cee

    Lexo Cee


    Scrotifera, lol

  • Shamir George

    Shamir George

     2 days ago

    The answer is simple. Bats obviously developed echo-location and flight simultaneously. Aha! I be you didn't think of that! They developed it at the same time. Bats, which were previously gopher like criters, first started jumping to catch insects. They could gradually jump further and further, and hear the insects close by. And gradually the gopher like criters that could hear and glide the furthust only survived. This evenentually became powered flight AND sonar AT THE SAME TIME! I'm a genius!

  • ThaC00l Kid

    ThaC00l Kid

     2 days ago

    Fingerboy from sam 'o nella academy Xd

  • Koda Buck

    Koda Buck

     2 days ago

    Wait what if bat ancestors weren't nocturnal and hunted insects in the day too than they could see the insects whil gliding than as there wings developed and they got better at flying they slowly terned nocturnal to protect themselves from predators like birds? I'm not sure how plosible it is or if it makes sense, but an idea

  • William Overton

    William Overton

     2 days ago

    I think they lived underground and developed flight to travel between burrows.

  • JSTV Fish Cutting

    JSTV Fish Cutting

     3 days ago +1

    I think you want want to explain regarding an ancient Bats body construction and brief about giant platypuses. thanks for sharing.🐟🐟🐠🐠🦈🐬🔔🔔🔔

  • zomby GI

    zomby GI

     5 days ago

    Bats exist because there must always be a batman!



     5 days ago

    thank GOD bats cant fly anymore

  • Mariah


     7 days ago

    I've said for years flying foxes faces and my dog's face ate a dead match. It's freaky. But it does only make me love the fuzzy fliers more.

  • Bob Langford

    Bob Langford

     7 days ago

    Nice video, but you forgot to explain how a bat evolved into a Batman!?

  • Arlo Stocker

    Arlo Stocker

     7 days ago

    why cant gliders have had specialised sense

  • Tentacular


     7 days ago

    Maybe the first bats weren't nocturnal, so didn't need echolocation to see prey in daylight? I'm fairly sure that no birds have echolocation...