Early Eocene Bat from Wyoming

Science  09 Dec 1966:
Vol. 154, Issue 3754, pp. 1333-1339
DOI: 10.1126/science.154.3754.1333


A fossil skeleton of an early Eocene bat, the oldest known flying mammal, was found in southwest Wyoming. The bat is assigned to the new species Icaronycteris index of the suborder Microchiroptera. It was apparently of a young male whose body was buried in varved marls of the Green River Formation, on the bottom of Fossil Lake, about 50 million years ago. The bones, some as slender as a human hair, show a few "primitive" characteristics such as a clawed index finger and a complete phalangeal formula, but the bat was fully developed —an anatomically precocious contemporary of the dog-sized polydactylous horse.