Baffling bat tongue reported in Science (AAAS) News and Nature News 25 September 2015. The orange-nectar bat, Lonchophylla robusta, feeds on nectar but unlike other animals that feed on liquids it does not lap it up, and its tongue does not have papillae (hair-like projections) that help other nectar feeders gather nectar. The bat hovers above the flowers, inserts its tongue into the nectar, and just seems to leave it submerged.
Scientists from the University of Ulm, Germany, have used high speed photography to work out how the bat feeds. The bat’s tongue has two grooves, one on either side and nectar flows along these driven by the pump action of tiny muscles. The research team say this is “a novel drinking mechanism in mammals” and summarised their finding: “Bats with grooved tongues use a specific fluid uptake mechanism not known from any other mammal”.
The Science News article is entitled “Bat’s tongue baffles researchers”.
Brian Hickey, a biologist at the St Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences in Canada, commented: “Bats in general have some of the most bizarre morphological adaptations — from leaf-nosed bats to wrinkle-faced to sucker-footed — so this seems to be just another one of those really interesting and strange adaptations”.
Editorial Comment: The only reason for scientists to be baffled about this bat’s tongue is that their evolutionary mindset does not help them work out how it could have evolved from the tongue of an ordinary bat. After all, why would a bat without such grooves and muscles bother to hover in the air with its tongue in a flower if it couldn’t get any nectar? Hovering in the air takes a lot of energy, and there would be no survival advantage for this behaviour if the bat did not already have the means to extract nectar from the flowers.
Notice again the evolutionists’ misuse of the word “adaptation”. Adaptation is the ability to cope with changes in the environment using already built in structures and functions. It never makes for new structures and functions. Admit it – it is far more logical to believe this bat was designed to feed on nectar, and therefore has the right design features to do so. (Ref. bats, feeding, diet, design)
Evidence News vol. 15, No. 20
4 November 2015
Creation Research Australia