Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
How did the bat skeleton evolve? © Getty Images

How did the bat skeleton evolve?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

There is a lot of debate about the evolution of various bat skeletons as the oldest fossils don't look too dissimilar to modern bats.

Asked by: TG Dollin, Dundee

Advertisement

Bats have very thin delicate skeletons that do not fossilise well. The oldest known fossils date from around 52 million years ago and are already very similar to modern bats. Bat wings have evolved from progressively elongated fingers, so bats are effectively flapping their hands. There is still a lot of debate surrounding the relationship between the various bat groups and it is possible that flight evolved separately more than once.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content