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In Pictures

A three dimensional image of a short-tailed fruit bat
Bat Engineering: Comparing Structural Strength in Species Using Computed Tomography

This three dimensional image of a short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata) was built using computed tomography scans and information about chewing muscles from a specimen housed in the UMass Natural History Collections. The Central American bat is common in the understory of tropical forests where it feeds on small, soft fruits. In this study, biologist Elizabeth Dumont and her colleagues used techniques borrowed from engineering to analyze the structural strength of the bat's skull and compare it to species that eat harder foods. Learn more. 

Photo credit: Courtesy of the UMass Natural History Collections