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Temporal range: Late Oligocene to Early Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Mystacinidae
Genus: Icarops
Hand et al., 1998
  • I. aenae
  • I. breviceps
  • I. paradox [1]

Icarops is an extinct genus of Mystacinidae bats with three described species. The genus is known from fossils found at Riversleigh, north-western Queensland, and Bullock Creek, Northern Territories, Australia. The fossils date from the late Oligocene to early Miocene.[2]

The name is derived "From Icarus, the mythological Greek who flew towards the sun, in reference to the ancient mystacinid that flew eastwards from Australia to New Zealand." [2]


Like its modern relatives, the Mystacina Short-Tailed bats, Icarops shows adaptations to foraging on the ground. This is in spite of occurring alongside various terrestrial tetrapods, including other mammals such as marsupials and monotremes. This shows that the terrestrial habits of mystacines did not evolve due to lack of competition with other mammals in New Zealand, predating the island's colonisation and having evolved on mainland Australia.[3]


  1. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive Yangochiroptera. Accessed 2008-01-11
  2. ^ a b Hand, S.J.; et al. (1998). "Mystacinid Bats (Microchiroptera) from the Australian Tertiary". Journal of Paleontology. 72 (3): 538–545. JSTOR 1306652. 
  3. ^ Suzanne J Hand, Vera Weisbecker, Robin MD Beck, Michael Archer, Henk Godthelp, Alan JD Tennyson and Trevor H Worthy, Bats that walk: a new evolutionary hypothesis for the terrestrial behaviour of New Zealand's endemic mystacinids, BMC Evolutionary Biology20099:169 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-9-169© Hand et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009 Received: 28 November 2008Accepted: 20 July 2009Published: 20 July 2009