Artist's impression of another kind of extinct New Zealand burrowing bat, Mystacina robusta, that went extinct in the 1960s.

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Illustration by Gavin Mouldey

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Scientists say the newly discovered bat resembled this different sort of extinct burrowing bat

The fossilised stays of a large burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand tens of millions of years in the past have been discovered on the nation’s South Island.

The enamel and bones of the extinct bat had been discovered to be 3 times the dimensions of a mean fashionable bat.

The bat, which weighed round 40g (1.41oz), not solely flew but additionally scurried about on all fours searching for meals.

The stays had been recovered from historical sediments close to the city of St Bathans.

A group of worldwide scientists made the invention over the course of 15 years. Their findings had been printed within the Scientific Reports journal on Wednesday.

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Trevor Worthy

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The fossilised stays had been discovered at St Bathans

The bat has been named Vulcanops jennyworthyae after analysis group member Jenny Worthy who discovered the fossils, and Vulcan the mythological Roman god of fireside and volcanoes.

The examine instructed that the massive dimension of the bat’s enamel means it had a “totally different weight-reduction plan” to Australasian bats at the moment.

“[Its] specialised enamel and huge dimension recommend it had a special weight-reduction plan, able to consuming much more plant meals in addition to small vertebrates – extra like a few of its South American cousins,” mentioned examine creator Professor Sue Hand of the College of New South Wales.

“We do not see this in Australasian bats at the moment,” she mentioned.

Burrowing bats at the moment are solely present in New Zealand, however as soon as additionally lived in Australia.

That is the primary new bat genus to be added to New Zealand’s fauna in additional than 150 years.