Bat on Tree Trunk

Giant burrowing bat fossil found, as reported in ScienceDaily 10 January 2018, BBC News 11 January 2018 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18403-w.

An international team of scientists has found teeth and bones of an extinct burrowing bat in rock layers in Central Otago region in New Zealand.

Burrowing bats can fly, but also forage for food by moving about on all fours on the forest floor and along tree branches. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates along with fruit, flowers and nectar. The scientists estimate the fossil bat was about three times the size of present day burrowing bats. The teeth indicate the extinct bat could eat more types of plant food and small vertebrates. Present day burrowing bats are only found in New Zealand, but once also inhabited Australia.

The bat is part of a fossil assemblage named the St Bathans Fauna, which contains many extinct animals including crocodiles, land turtles, birds and non-flying mammals. The only mammals now considered native to New Zealand are two species of bat. All other land-dwelling mammals were brought to NZ by humans over the past 800 years.

Paul Scofield of Canterbury Museum, one of the research team, commented: “These bats, along with land turtles and crocodiles, show that major groups of animals have been lost from New Zealand. They show that the iconic survivors of this lost fauna – the tuataras, moas, kiwi, acanthisittid wrens, and leiopelmatid frogs – evolved in a far more complex community that hitherto thought”.

Links: BBC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Like many other creatures, Burrowing Bats, used to be bigger. This fossil bat and the other St Bathans Fauna are sad further reminders that the fossil record is not the history of life on earth, but the record of its death, extinction and degeneration.

Paul Scofield is correct in calling the iconic NZ fauna “survivors”, but this is no help to the theory of evolution. These “survivors” have merely outlived whatever disasters caused the extinction of the other creatures. This new find provides no evidence they evolved from any other creatures, or that the extinct creatures evolved into anything else. Survival of the fittest is a real process, but it can never produce evolution. The fit only survive because they already have the characteristics necessary to live in a particular environment.

NZ is a lovely place, but the record it contains of extinction leaving a few shrinking survivors reminds us that the world is devolving downhill, not evolving upwards. Such evidence actually confirms the Biblical history of the world, where God created a very good world inhabited by separate kinds of fully functional creatures, but because of man’s sin God has judged the world with death and degeneration, and palaeontologists continue to dig up the evidence every day. So don’t forget that one day they, along with everyone else, will have to face the same Judge, and sadly, many will have to explain why they ignored Him.

Evidence News vol. 18, No.1
14 February 2018
Creation Research Australia

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep sending out Evidence News and add more items to this archive. For USA tax deductible donations click here. For UK tax deductible donations click here. For Australia and rest of world click here.