A new species of extinct False Vampire Bat (Megadermatidae: Macroderma) from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia
A new species of False Vampire Bat (Megadermatidae), Macroderma handae sp. nov., is described from dental, dentary and maxillary fragments recovered from limestone deposits at Dingo Gap, Oscar Range, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. This material is likely to be of Pliocene age, or early Pleistocene, based on biocorrelation within the same sample. The absence of the P2 indicates that it is more derived than Miocene taxa including M. malugara and M. godthelpi, but its phylogenetic position relative to M. koppa could not be determined. It appears to be slightly smaller than M. gigas and M. koppa based on the size of M1 and M2. It can be distinguished from M. gigas by the lesser degree of fenestration in the maxilla; and from all other species of Macroderma by the shape of the protofossa of the M1, plus the M2 protoconid relatively high and of proportionally greater area within the trigonid. Other material collected, but not identified completely or described, includes several lower canines from a species of emballonurid, and a dentary with M1-3 representing a vespertilionid bat. Given the wear striations observed on the M3 of the newly-described Macroderma species, we suggest that it was a predator of small vertebrates, including possibly the chiropteran co-inhabitants of the cave. This new species of Macroderma is the sixth species recognized in the genus so far, and the second from the Pliocene.
Armstrong, Kyle N., Ken Aplin, and Masaharu Motokawa. 2020. A new species of extinct False Vampire Bat (Megadermatidae: Macroderma) from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. In Papers in Honour of Ken Aplin, ed. Julien Louys, Sue O’Connor, and Kristofer M. Helgen. Records of the Australian Museum 72(5): 161–174.