The family Natalidae is composed of a single genus with five species. These bats are found in tropical lowlands of the New world, from northern Mexico south to Brazil. They also occur in the West Indies.
Natalids are small bats with relatively long legs. Their skulls are high-crowned, with the braincase rising abruptly from the long muzzle. Each ear is large and funnel-shaped and includes a short tragus. The outer edge of the ear joins the skull near the margin of the mouth. Adult males have a structure on the face or muzzle called the natalid organ, which is composed of cells that may be sensory or secretory, although the exact function is unknown. Natalids lack a noseleaf. The fur of these bats is distinctively long and silky, and it varies in color from grey to yellowish to chestnut. They have a well-developed uropatagium, which encloses the tail.
The skulls of natalids include complete premaxillae; the palatal and nasal branches are fused with the maxillae, and the palatal branches are fused at the midline, isolating two palatal foramina. The molars are dilambdodont, and the dental formula is 2/3, 1/1, 3/3, 3/3 = 38.
Natalids are quite common in some areas, often roosting in caves and mines. Social groups range in number from very large to fewer than ten. The flight of these bats is fluttery and moth-like.
Natalids feed exclusively on small insects.
These bats are probably closely related to the Thyropteridae and Furipteridae.
little brown bat
finged tailed bat
long legged bat
funnel eared bat
long legged bat
Family Pteropodidae (Old World fruit-eating bats)
Family Rhinopomatidae (long-tailed or mouse-tailed bats) Family Craseonycteridae (bumblebee bat) Family Emballonuridae (sac-winged or sheath-tailed bats) Family Nycteridae (slit-faced or hollow-faced bats) Family Megadermatidae (false vampire bats) Family Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats or Old-World leaf-nosed bats) Family Noctilionidae (bull-dog or mastiff bats) Family Mormoopidae (naked-backed bats) Family Phyllostomidae (New World leaf-nosed bats) Family Natalidae (funnel-eared or long legged bats) Family Furipteridae (smoky or thumbless bats) Family Thyropteridae (disc-winged bats) Family Myzopodidae (old world sucker-footed bats) Family Vespertilionidae (evening bats) Family Mystacinidae (New Zealand short-tailed bats) Family Molossidae (free-tailed bats)
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