from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various widely distributed insect-eating bats of the family Vespertilionidae, characterized by a long tail.
- adj. Of or belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of very many bats of the family Vespertilionidae
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a variety of carnivorous bat
But you might be surprised to learn, as I was, that an inoffensive little vespertilionid is also an awesome tetrapod predator.
The mammal fauna consists of seventy-six species, of which two vespertilionid bats are endemic to this ecoregion (Table 1).
There were at least two native mammals in the ecoregion, the Critically Endangered Bonin fruit bat (Pteropus pselaphon), and now Extinct vespertilionid bat Pipistrellus sturdeei.
"We assume that the evolution of migratory behaviour in the vespertilionid bats is an answer to sinking temperatures in their habitats, which made a temporary migration into warmer areas necessary," he said.
According to Kamran Safi, one of the authors of the study, "According to the model, the probability for the vespertilionid bats to loose or gain their residential habitat is the same as becoming a short or long distance migrant".
The researchers discovered that the migratory behaviour over long and short distances evolved repeatedly and for the most part independently within the family of vespertilionid bats.