From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Temporal range: Early Eocene
Icaronycteris index.jpg
Icaronycteris index, Green River Formation, in the ROM,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Suborder: Microchiroptera
Family: Icaronycteridae
Genus: Icaronycteris
Jepsen, 1966
  • Icaronycteris index
  • Icaronycteris menui

Icaronycteris is an extinct genus of microchiropteran (echolocating) bat that lived in the early Eocene, approximately 52.2 million years ago. Four exceptionally preserved specimens are known from the Green River Formation of North America. There is only one thoroughly described species of bat in the genus, I. index, [1] although fragmentary material from France has also been tentatively placed within Icaronycteris as the second species I. menui.[2]

Icaronycteris index, Houston


Icaronycteris[3] measured about 14 centimetres (5.5 in) long and had a wingspan of 37 centimetres (15 in). It closely resembled modern bats, but had some primitive traits. The tail was much longer and not connected to the hind legs with a skin membrane, the first wing finger bore a claw and the body was more flexible. Similarly, it had a full set of relatively unspecialised teeth, similar to those of a modern shrew. Its anatomy suggests that, like modern bats, Icaronycteris slept while hanging upside down, holding onto a tree branch or stone ridge with its hind legs.[4]












Microchiroptera (Bats)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jepsen, G.L.; MacPhee, R. D. E. (1966). "Early Eocene bat from Wyoming". Science 154 (3754): 1333–1339. Bibcode:1966Sci...154.1333J. doi:10.1126/science.154.3754.1333. PMID 17770307. 
  2. ^ Bulletin American Museum of Natural History Number 235 pg 40 Accessed on 22 October 2006
  3. ^ The name relates the mythic flight of Icarus to Nycteris, the genus of "hollow-faced bats".
  4. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 211. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  5. ^ Nancy B. Simmons & Tenley Conway Tree opf Life - Chiroptera
  • Barry Cox, Colin Harrison, R.J.G. Savage, and Brian Gardiner. (1999): The Simon & Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life. Simon & Schuster.
  • Jayne Parsons.(2001): Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley.
  • Hazel Richardson.(2003): Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (Smithsonian Handbooks). Pg.170,Dorling Kindersley.
  • David Norman. (2001) The Big Book Of Dinosaurs. Pg.119, Welcome Books.

External links[edit]