Thursday, 9 June 2011
A couple of weeks ago one of Troys workmates was driving through the Waioeka Gorge when a tiny bat hit the windscreen of her car. It was night time and she initially thought it was a leaf. When she finally got to a place where she could pull the car over she retrieved the little lifeless body and later put it in the freezer. On Monday morning I got the chance to get some quick shots before it was given to the Department of Conservation guys who were going to turn it over to a taxidermist for preserving.
It was the first time I have seen one of our two New Zealand species up close. What a fascinating creature. Its wings were like crinkly black crepe paper, very thin with long arm bones along the leading edge. A tiny clawed thumb is situated at the top joint, the rest of the wing are actually supported by the fingers. Delicate little clawed feet ended on short legs.
This one was a long-tailed bat and there was indeed a substantial tail complete with the same kind of membrane as the wing. Unfortunately I couldn't pull it out to photograph it. What a treat to be able to study this bat up close, it was an amazing little animal! Just a shame he was dead.