The discovery of a species of bat that uncannily resembles a panda bear has been hailed as “the find of a lifetime” by researchers.
Due to the bat’s extreme rarity and the fact that it was found in South Sudan, scientists consider it to be an altogether new genus.
DeeAnn Reeder, an associate professor of biology at Bucknell and the person who discovered the discovery, remarked that “my attention was quickly attracted to the bat’s very beautiful and unique pattern of spots and stripes.”
It was obviously a really remarkable animal, and it was one that I had never seen before; the moment I laid eyes on it, I realised that I had stumbled across the opportunity of a lifetime.
South Sudan is the location where the newly discovered genus Niumbaha superba, also known as the “panda bat,” was found.
Researchers were so excited by the find that they referred to it as “the find of a lifetime.” Bear faced:
The sighting had place at the Bangangai Game Reserve with Reeder.
Reeder determined that the bat was the same as one that had been originally captured in the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1939 and named Glauconycteris superba, but she and her colleagues did not believe that it fit with other bats in the genus Glauconycteris. After returning to the United States, Reeder made her determination.
According to Reeder, “after rigorous study, it is evident that it does not belong in the genus that it’s in right now,” which is the current classification of the organism.
Its cranial characteristics, its wing characteristics, its size, the ears – quite literally everything you look at doesn’t fit.
Because of how singular it is, we will have to establish a new genus for it.
Reeder, along with co-authors from the Smithsonian Institution and the Islamic University in Uganda, placed this species of bat into a new genus called Niumbaha in a paper that was just recently published by the journal ZooKeys. The paper was titled, “A new genus for a rare African vespertilionid bat: insights from South Sudan.”
Pictured with the Niumbaha superba in South Sudan are Fauna & Flora International Programme Officer Adrian Garside (left) and Bucknell University associate professor of Biology DeeAnn Reeder.
This picture demonstrates the distinctive panda-like stripes that are characteristic of the Niumbaha superba.
Zande is the language spoken by the Azande people in Western Equatoria State, which is also the location where the bat was found. The name means “rare” or “strange” in Zande.
The bat is only the fifth species of its type that has ever been found, and it is the first to be found in South Sudan, which became an independent nation in 2011.
“This new genus of bat is a sign of how varied the region is and how much work remains,” said the researchers who made the discovery. Reeder added.
Understanding the importance of biodiversity preservation and working to protect it is essential in many different ways.
The ability to effectively manage an area is facilitated by having knowledge of the species that live there.
The loss of species always results in changes on the ecological level.
“I’m certain that this is a field in which we need to continue to make strides,” she said.
Reeder was awarded a grant from the Woodtiger Fund in the amount of $100,000, which made it feasible for the team to do research in South Sudan.
According to the findings of the research, this species of bat now belongs to the genus Niumbaha. Zande, the language spoken by the Azande people in Western Equatoria State, which is where the bat was discovered, has a term that may be translated as “rare” or “strange.”
Reeder was recently presented with another grant from the private research foundation in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars to enable her to go on with her study in May and to assist FFI’s conservation efforts.
“This finding is noteworthy to me because it underlines the biological relevance of South Sudan and implies that this new country has many natural marvels still to be uncovered,” he said. “To me, it is significant because it highlights the biological importance of South Sudan.” Matt Rice, who serves as the country director for Fauna & Flora International in South Sudan, made this statement.
“South Sudan is a nation that has a great deal to contribute and a great deal to preserve,”