There are pros and cons to being a bat. Pros: can fly and catch prey in the dark, have a luscious fur coat. Cons: have possibly the ugliest nose in the known universe. Well, that is, if you're this newly discovered leaf-nosed bat from Vietnam.
The bat was first spotted in the wild in Chu mum Ray National Park in 2008. However, it's taken until now to actually catch and photograph one of the animals. Vu Dinh Thong, of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Hanoi, was the one to catch it, and it turns out to be a new addition to science, being genetically different from another leaf-nosed bat found in the US. The finding will appear in the Journal of Mammalogy.
But what is that nose for, exactly? Actually, it remains somewhat of a mystery. The scientists think it might aid echolocation — the process though which bats use sound to navigate — but that's still up for debate. At the very least, it gives this little fella a Predator face on its face. And isn't that enough? [National Geographic]
Image: Vu Dinh Thong