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Wrinkle-faced Bat
DSC03002-L
Information
Range Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela of Central America.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Chiroptera
Family Phyllostomidae
Genus Centurio
Species Centurio senex

The Wrinkle-faced bat (Centurio senex), is a species of leaf-nosed bat in the family Phyllostomidae. It is the only identified member of the genus Centurio. It is found in various countries in and around Central America. It eats fruit but is not classified within the fruit bats. It is classified as a leaf-nosed bat but does not have a leaf nose. It has an unusually shaped skull which is thought to allow the bat to eat a wider range of foods than other bats.

Description

The wrinkle-faced bat is tail-less, medium sized and generally has a pelage of a drab brown to yellowish-brown color. They weigh around 17g. Their face is hairless and is covered by convoluted outgrowths of skin (as would be expected from the common name). These skin flaps are more pronounced in males than females and males also possess a skin mask that can be used to cover their face. They have storage pouches in their mouths to allow them to store fruit. Centurio senex greenhalli differs from the more common Centurio senex senex by being larger and in having a more domed braincase, better developed sagittal crest, and relatively shorter maxillary toothrow. Their skulls are extremely short and wide, which is thought to allow it to produce bite forces up to 20% higher than other bats of a similar size. It is able to generate the largest biting force, relative to its size of any of the leaf-nosed bats.

Diet

The species is entirely frugivorous (fruit-eating) although it is not known which types of fruit they consume. Elizabeth Dumont from the University of Massachusetts believes that the strong biting force of the bat allows it to survive through times when soft fruit is scarce as they are able to eat tougher fruit than other bats.

Reproduction

Females are thought to be both polyestrous and asynchronous, pregnant females have been recorded every month between January and August except May. Males emit a musky odour from the chin area to attract females. Their sperm morphology is unique in that the sperm head has a rounded nucleus and extremely pointed acrosome.

Etymology

The binomial name Centurio senex is formed from the Latin centurio meaning division into hundreds and senex referring to old people. This name was chosen as it was thought that the face of the bat looked like that of a one hundred-year-old man.

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