Time To Put That Thumb-Sized Body to Use, Aellen’s Long-Fingered Bats


A team headed by Manuel Ruedi, the curator at the Natural History Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, discovered just two weeks ago a new species of bat (in the throes of clumsy reproduction, no less), in a cave on a volcanic island of Comoros, Africa, north of Madagascar. Weighing in at just five grams (0.2 ounce), the diminutive Aellen’s long-fingered bat is, remarkably, no bigger than a moth or the average human thumb. Ruedi remarked that the discovery of bats mating in the wild was a rare occurrence, “especially when it involves an unknown species!”

Aww. So tiny Aellen’s long-fingered bats, this is really awkward. One minute you don’t exist, and the next you’re doing sex to each other while a bunch of scientists watch and marvel and take heaps of photos and maybe even some DNA when you’re not looking. And not only that, now that you’ve been well and truly discovered, there will be no end to to the wisecracks about your weeny rodent stature. Everyone’ll be like, “You look like you could accidentally fall in my soup and I probably wouldn’t even notice before it’s too late. LOL.” And it might never be too late, tiny Aellen’s long-fingered bats – that’s how small you are.

Oh but don’t fret too much, little ones, I’m not going to have a go at you for getting caught mating in public like I did the trilobites, because, unlike those giant arthropodal reprobates, you look like you’re doing it the way God intended – with just one male, and one female. Hear that, trilobites? One male. And one female. Take your sordid orgy some place else. See those tiny Aellen’s long-fingered bats? They even thought to cover up their genitals while the scientists are visiting, which is far more than I can say for you lot.

Now then, long-fingered bats, here’s the part where I level with you and confess that I’m not just here for a pleasant chat. I’ve got a proposition for you, so listen up. You know how scientists have also recently discovered that the Tadarida brasiliensis and Myotis velifer bats might potentially hold the secret to ultimate longevity? Well just imagine for a moment, if you will, what it would be like to combine your impossibly tiny proportions with their rare and highly sought-after life-prolonging protein-folding techniques. Well yes, tiny Aellen’s long-fingered bats, I guess it would kind of make you a bit like Jesus. But I was actually thinking more along the lines of Navi. All you’d need to do is make sex with a few Tadarida brasiliensis and Myotis velifer (yes, yes, I know you’re in love, but whatever, it’s just sex) and then teach your offspring to emit a powerful luminous glow like all the time, and in return we’ll let them follow us around, offering advice and pointing out vital clues and hidden caves and stuff that we would otherwise have missed. Sometimes we’ll have to catch them in a bottle and carry them around in our knapsacks till we need an extra burst of lifesource, but I’m sure they won’t mind too much. You’ve got my email address, tiny Aellen’s long-fingered bats, let me know what you think, okay?

– bec

1 Comment

Filed under Animals, Museum Stuff, New Species!, Science

One response to “Time To Put That Thumb-Sized Body to Use, Aellen’s Long-Fingered Bats

  1. Pingback: Bet You Wish You Hadn’t Leaked That Sex Tape Now, Huh, Short-Nosed Fruit Bats? « Save Your Breath For Running Ponies

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