Bats: 1000 species, but no evolutionary links

Bat in flight

BATS are among the most diverse mammal groups, with around 1000 species worldwide. Yet evolutionists don't have a clue how they could have evolved.

The earliest fossil bats, which evolutionists date at more than 50 million years, are clearly identifiable as bats, with no hint that they have evolved from anything that was not a bat.

Look at just a few of the wonderful features that make up a bat:

Most bat scientists apparently think that bats evolved from tree-dwelling, shrew-like ancestors that scampered along branches and fed on insects.1 But Sharon Swartz, an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, has done aerodynamic studies on bats and said that going from a square gliding wing to a long, skinny flapping wing is a unique achievement. “And now it doesn't look like bats have any relationship to these gliding things,” she said.2

Bat Myotis sodalis

The small Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) is now an endangered species.

Did echolation evolve later?

Fossil batMuch fuss was made in February 2008 when news came that the oldest known fossil bats, a pair from Wyoming dated at 53 million years, did not have echolocation.3 The assumption was that bats without echolocation came first and then echolocating bats evolved later.

But the Australian Museum has dated the Murgon bat from Australia at 55 million years, 2 million years older than the Wyoming bats, and says it had echolocating ability. “Ear bones of the Murgon Bat show that it could navigate using echolocation, like most bats do today.”

There are two ways of looking at the Murgon bat.

  1. If it is truly older than the non-echolocating Wyoming bats, then echolocation was already present in bats and it didn't evolve later.
  2. If the Australian bat has been dated slightly older than it should have been, it was still around at a similar time as the non-echolocating bats, which simply means that both types of bats lived at the same time, which is the same today.

Fossilized eggs of noctuid moths, with the ability to detect echolocation calls of bats and trigger escape responses, have been found that allegedly date back to 75 million years ago — long before the oldest fossil bats. So even based on that dating, there must have been echolocating bats around at that time. So the non-echolocating before echolocating theory is looking lame.

Are some bats related to primates?

There are two suborders of bats: 1. The Megachiroptera, which includes the largest species of bats, such as fruit bats and flying foxes. 2. The Microchiroptera, which have small eyes, complex ears, and the ability to find prey and navigate by echolocation.

Differences between the two suborders in flight and sensory capabilities have led some biologists to propose that they evolved from separate ancestral lineages, and that the large Megachiropteran bats are more closely related to primates4, the order into which apes, monkeys and humans are classified.

But this idea is not generally accepted, and doesn't make the evolution of bats clearer, just murkier.

Why do bats hang upside down?

Mariana fruit batBats are most active from sunset into the night. But during the day they roost upside down in caves, barns, under bridges, and in other secluded spots.

Hanging upside down puts them in a perfect position for takeoff. Unlike birds, they don't have the ability to take off from a standing start on the ground because their hind limbs are too small and their wings don't produce enough lift.

So they claw their way to a high launching area and then “drop” into flight. (Photo at right is a Mariana fruit bat.)

Bats have the amazing ability to hang this way without exerting energy.

Are bats blind?

Many people think bats are blind because of the expression “as blind as a bat” or because bats fly at night.

But bats in fact develop eyesight from the time they are a week old. Although they don't have highly keen eyesight, they can see reasonably well. They are certainly not all blind.

Could bats have been created?

A controversial idea that no-one is supposed to mention in a scientific discussion is that bats were created as bats in the beginning by God. Of course, you are not allowed to bring God into scientific discussions even if creation is true, because diehard evolutionist types oppose free speech when it involves God.

But when we look at the “scientific” alternative, that bats evolved from an unknown ancestor at an unknown time in the past with unexplained ways of how their unique abilities developed, we feel extremely comfortable in accepting the allegedly “unscientific” creation idea. It simply fits the facts better.

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