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The Word of the Day comes from THE ANIMALS OF LOCKWOOD MANOR by Jane Healey.


NOUN zoology Chiroptera (plural noun)

  1. an order of mammals that comprises the bats.See also Megachiroptera, Microchiroptera.

ORIGIN modern Latin (plural), from chiro- ‘hand’ + Greek pteron ‘wing’.

Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera; with their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more manoeuvrable than birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. The smallest bat, and arguably the smallest extant mammal, is Kitti's hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 millimetres in length, 150 mm across the wings and 2–2.6 g in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes and the giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, which can weigh 1.6 kg and have a wingspan of 1.7 m.

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