Scientists from ZSI discover New thick-thumbed bat species in bamboo forest in Meghalaya

Scientists from ZSI discover New thick-thumbed bat species in bamboo forest in Meghalaya

Glischropus meghalayanus: A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Shillong, and Natural History museums of Europe have discovered a new species of bamboo-dwelling bat in Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya.

Key Points:

  • The discovery has been published in the latest issue of the prominent taxonomic journal Zootaxa on June 15.
  • This new species of thick-thumbed bat has been found near the forested patch of bamboo forest near Lailad in Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya, which is adjoining  Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It has been named Glischropus meghalayanus, where it was discovered and also in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the statehood of Meghalaya in 2022.
  • Previously, four species of thick-thumbed bats were known globally and all are distributed in the Southeast Asian region.
  • The present discovery is the first report of a thick-thumbed bat from India and also from South Asia.
  • Bamboo-dwelling bats are a particular kind of bats living in the internodes of bamboos with specialized morphological characteristics that help them to adapt to the life inside a bamboo.
  • With this new discovery, the total number of bat species known from India stands at 131 species with Meghalaya harbouring the highest bat diversity with 67 species.

About Glischropus meghalayanus:

  • Thick-thumbed bats of the genus Glischropus are currently composed of four recognized species from Southeast Asia.
  • The newly discovered species is small in size and has a dark brown colour with a sulfur yellow belly.
  • This bat has typical fleshy pads on the thumb and soles of feet which aid them to crawl over smooth surfaces of bamboo internodes.

Note: Scientists discovered another species of disk-footed bat, Eudiscopus denticulus, a new record for India, in the same forested regions outside the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Meghalaya:

  • It is a state in northeastern India. 
  • Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972.
  • It is one of the 7 sister states of North-East India.
  • Meghalaya means the "Abode of Clouds" in Sanskrit.
  • Shillong and Cherrapunjee are the highlights of Meghalaya for their weather and climatic conditions.
  • Its pristine beauty, perpetual clouds, mists, huge waterfalls, limestone caves, lush green and dense forests, and amazing living root bridges are major attractions of this state.
  • Meghalaya is not only the home to a large variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, and medicinal plants but is also famous for its large variety of orchids — nearly 325 of them.
  • Its capital is Shillong.
  • The current Governor and Chief Minister of Meghalaya are Satya Pal Malik and Conrad Sangama respectively. 

The recently discovered Glischropus meghalayanus belongs to which species?
A) Frog
B) Lizard
C) Snake
D) Bat