by Blake de Pastino
from National Geographic.com
September 18, 2007
This unusual species of flying fox was recently discovered in the Philippines not long after it was deemed not to exist.
Jake Esselstyn, a biologist with the University of Kansas, was among a team of researchers that found the animal, a type of fruit bat, last year while surveying forest life on the island of Mindoro.
“When we first arrived on Mindoro, a local resident that we hired as a guide described the bat to me in great detail, and he asked me what it was called,” Esselstyn said.
“I politely told him that there was no such bat. I was wrong.”
Several days into the survey, the scientists accidentally captured a creature in a net that fit the guide’s description: a large flying fox with bright orange fur and distinctive white stripes across its brow and jaw.
In his own defense, the scientist pointed out that the species’ closest known relative lives some 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) away on an island in Indonesia.
“It makes you wonder if there are other related species on islands between,” he said.
Read the full article at National Geographic!