A second endemic land mammal for the Hawaiian Islands : a new genus and species of fossil bat (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). (American Museum novitates, no. 3854)
American Museum of Natural History.
Located over 3800 km from the nearest continent, the Hawaiian Islands have previously been thought to support only one endemic land mammal, the extant Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus), a taxon that apparently initially dispersed from mainland North America between 10,000 and 7000 years ago. Some uncertainty exists regarding the status of this taxon (i.e., whether or not populations representing more recent invasions of L. cinereus from North America are exchanging genes with the older lineage, and whether or not semotus represents a distinct species), but all researchers agree that hoary bats are the only endemic land mammals extant in the islands today. However, fossil evidence indicates that the Hawaiian Islands once supported another quite different endemic bat species that is now extinct. Skeletal remains of a new genus and species of vespertilionid bat are herein described from various Late Pleistocene and Holocene/Recent deposits on the five largest Hawaiian Islands. The new taxon is diagnosed by a mosaic of features including dental formula, molar morphology, skull shape, and metacarpal formula. This new taxon, which is smaller than Hawaiian hoary bat, was apparently present in the Hawaiian Islands by 320,000 years b.p. and survived until at least 1100 years ago and possibly much later. Accordingly, two species of bats coexisted on the Hawaiian Islands for several thousand years. As with numerous extinct endemic bird species, the extinction of the new bat taxon described here may have resulted either directly or indirectly from human colonization of the islands and the invasive nonnative species that came with human explorers and settlers.
52 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 26 cm.
Synemporion., Synemporion keana., Bats, Fossil., Vespertilionidae., Extinct mammals., Endemic animals., Hawaii.