Coelacanth Island Has New Tiny Bat {+ Photo}

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 25th, 2009

Scientists have identified a new species of bat weighing just five grams in the Comoros island archipelago off eastern Africa, the Natural History Museum in Geneva said on June 24, 2009. The Comoros islands are famed in cryptozoological history as the first known recognized rediscovered home of the 65 million-year-old survival, the Coelacanths.

Miniopterus aelleni
©Muséum de Genève; photo: Manuel Ruedi

Miniopterus aelleni
©Muséum de Genève; photo: Manuel Ruedi

The new mammal has been named Miniopterus aelleni in honor of the late Villy Aellen, a former head of the Geneva museum and a major bat specialist. Miniopterus (long winged bat) is a genus of vesper bats and the only genus of subfamily Miniopterinae.

Australian, Madagascan, Swiss and US scientists were documenting bats in the former French colony when they came across the new species, which originates from nearby Madagascar, the museum said in a statement.

Some 10 new species of mammal have been identified every year since 2000, the museum said.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

17 Responses to “Coelacanth Island Has New Tiny Bat {+ Photo}”

  1. cliff responds:

    No photos? I was hoping to see a photo of the tiny bat. What a tease…

  2. Terrell H King responds:

    It’s amazing how many new species are still being discovered (or maybe re-discovered).

    It’s also interesting that this little one flew quite a way over the ocean to the Comoro Islands.

  3. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    I know it may be extremely hard to blog in the bog…..but I have to agree with Cliff… I really wanted to see a picture of this NEW little guy.

    I will be checking back to see if there are any new developments on the picture thing.

    Loren…hope you remembered your bug spray !!

  4. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Okay, okay. I’ll call the exterminator in the morning…

  5. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    Thanks for the pics Loren!

  6. cryptidsrus responds:

    Ugly guy, but in a “cute” way. 🙂

    Coelacanth1938: How much for an exterminator??? 🙂

    I would also like to thank you for the pics, Loren!!!

  7. StinkFoot responds:

    cool. but at 5 grams i’d like to see a size reference.

    Nice fro!! “afrocus baticus”

    thanks Loren.

  8. mystery_man responds:

    Very interesting news and Loren came through with the photos. Excellent.

    Cryptidsrus- That’s funny, these little guys were probably saying the same thing about the human researchers who were studying them. “Ugly, but in a cute way!” 🙂

  9. cliff responds:

    Thanks for the photos, pretty cool.

    I don’t want to be a pain or anything, but some photos allowing for size reference would be even cooler. 🙂

  10. MattBille responds:

    Just for reference, Kitti’s hog-nosed bat from Thailand keeps the “smallest mammal” record at 2 grams.

    The Cuban bee bummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) the smallest of all birds, is also listed at two grams or a little less, so we can regard 2g as near the minimum for warm-blooded animals.

    The “10 mammals a year” statement is off: I believe the figure for the past 15 years is 408, giving about 27 a year. Maybe they are only counting new species from the field, not reclassifications or museum-vault finds.

  11. bozakgrundle responds:

    Thanks, Loren.

    Ever since encountering a dioriented, possibly rabid one in a garage as a child, I have had an extreme, morbid (I’m not going to say irrational, ’cause the things are hideous) fear of bats. So I blithely click onto the ‘Mundo for my daily dose of Crypto-news and… promptly had a near-soiled-myself-experience.

    I’ll get over it. It’s okay. Really. S’fun.

    Thanks again, Loren

  12. The Y2J Problem responds:

    Thanks for the pictures. I wish there was a size comparison in the picture.

  13. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    AAAwwww, not exactly what I mentally pictured, But still beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I have to add this though. If you squint, and fuzz out your sight, kinda looks like a squatch with really big ears ! Sorry Loren…but I had to say it.

    Thanks Loren….
    “The Bog Blogger”


  14. cryptidsrus responds:


    Truly sorry about that. No joke. I have bad hangups too.

    On the other hand…
    One way to combat this is to enroll yourself in the “Bruce Wayne School Of Handling Bat Phobias.” Will fix you straight up. 😉

  15. odingirl responds:

    Okay, I’ll confess as well: I like bats, and yes, I think they’re ‘ugly cute’. I’m glad to see another variety thriving somewhere. Years ago I came to work one morning to find one laying on the floor of the hallway in front of a large window, where it had repeatedly bashed itself attempting to get out before collapsing on the floor. It was alive, but just barely, and very weak. So….(and yes, in retrospect this was pretty stupid)….I got a towel and picked it up by one delicate wing, then warmed him up in the towel a little and….gave him a slurp of water from a teaspoon. That seemed to bring him out of it a little and I eventually took him outside and watched him crawl to safety under the deck for a much-needed rest. I know, he could have been rabid, but I just can’t resist me some fledermaus.

  16. CryptidHuntr responds:

    awwww looks cute….Thanx Loren!!!!

  17. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Ummm… I’ll call it… Fuzzy-Wuzzy. Why?

    Because Fuzzy-Wuzzy was a bear, and everyone who watches the Colbert Report knows that bats are really just tiny flying bears. 😀

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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