Evolutionary Patterns in Bat Wing Shape

Bishop, K. Bishop: Evolutionary Patterns in Bat Wing Shape

Among mammals, bats are the only group to have evolved powered flight. The changes which allowed the adoption of this locomotor mode include the modification of the forelimb into a wing. Features of the wing shape such as wing loading, aspect ratio, and tip index affect the aerodynamic performance of the wing. These measurements have been made by Norberg and Rayner, who analyzed them in an ecological context, but they have yet to be examined in an evolutionary context. I have mapped these measurements onto a well-supported phylogeny of the order Chiroptera in order to evaluate evolutionary patterns in wing shape.

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