Researchers at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History have recently named two new species of dog-faced bats, according to a study published in Mammalian Biology. The Freemans dog-faced bat (Cynomops freemani) from Panama and the Waorani dog-faced bat (Cynomops tonkigui) from Ecuador now join the ranks of six other recognized species of dog-faced bats (Cynomops), a genus of bats named for their distinct pup-like faces.
Dog-faced bats are notoriously difficult to study, as they tend to fly faster and higher than their non-canine-faced comrades. The researchers were able to determine the two new species through a combination of field observation and comparison to existing museum specimens.
The new discovery helps broaden our understanding of bats and the complex ecosystem in which they live. And we all can agree: more sky puppies is a good thing!