An unusual breed of fruit bat has now officially been recognised as a new species.
The bat, previously nicknamed 'Yoda' due to its resemblance to the Star Wars Jedi Master, has been renamed the happy (Hamamas) tube-nosed fruit bat.
The happy tube-nosed fruit bat's formal name, Nyctimene wrightae sp. nov., is named after the conservationist Deb Wright, who devoted 20 years to building conservation programmes and long-term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea.
• The ‘Yoda’ bat was discovered in a remote rainforest of Papua New Guinea.
• After thorough research examining literature and some 3000 specimens in 18 museums around the world, a University of York researcher now formally distinguished and registered the new species.
• The species is very difficult to tell apart from other tube-nosed bat species. Bat species often look similar to each other; however, they differ significantly in behaviour, feeding and history.
• Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.
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