The Ears

Ear shape and size is relatively similar in Megachiroptera They tend to be short, and generally proportional to the head size. Since Megachiroptera tend to orient themselves by sight, there is nothing peculiar here!

Microchiroptera is another story however! There is a wide range of variation within Microchiroptera - sometimes quite bizarre!

The ear is made of a large flap-like cartilaginous material, often with a series of transverse ridges of longitudinal ridges. The function of these is unknown, but may provide structural support, or affect the collection of soundwaves.

Another component of the ear, is the tragus. It is used in taxonomic identification, but it’s use by bats is unknown. It is absent in all Megachiroptera, and takes many different shapes and sizes in Microchiroptera. It is also absent in Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae, and small in the Molossidae.

There are as many variations in ears and ear sizes as there are species of Microchiroptera!