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Journal Article

Adhesive Devices on the Thumb of Vespertilionoid Bats (Chiroptera)

J. G. M. Thewissen and S. A. Etnier
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 76, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp. 925-936
DOI: 10.2307/1382762
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382762
Page Count: 12

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Topics: Thumb, Bats, Wrist, Surgical suction, Adhesives, Adhesion, Epidermis, Hand bones, Dermis, Muscles
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Adhesive Devices on the Thumb of Vespertilionoid Bats (Chiroptera)
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Abstract

We describe pads on the thumb of five vespertilionoid bats based on microanatomy and scanning microscopy and make inferences about their function. The pad of Thyroptera adheres by means of suction, and that of Tylonycteris uses dry adhesion. The pad of Glischropus has no true adhesive function and probably functions using friction. Topography of the pad of Pipistrellus nanus could interlock with substrate features, but the pad may have a minor function as a suction device. Glueing is most likely involved in the adhesion of Myzopoda to its substrate.

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