A new species of leaf-nosed bat has been discovered in Vietnam which is related to a known species of bat that had long been thought to have gone extinct over 60 years ago.
This new leaf-nosed bat species known as a relative to the Giant Leaf-Nosed Bat was first discovered in 2008, but was nearly mistaken for an already known species until further testing proved otherwise.
The bat discovery was first made by Vu Dinh Thong along with his team at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
The bat was first spotted in the wild in Chu Mum Ray National Park. Scientists were able to capture the bat while they were researching on Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam in 2008 and thought it was the long lost Giant Leaf-Nosed Bat.
With the help of genetic studies and DNA mapping scientists were able to determine that the species, known as Hipposideros Griffini, was different genetically than its relative the Giant Leaf-Nosed Bat.
The Vietnam Giant Leaf-Nosed Bat population was decimated by habitat loss. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red listed this species due to a lack of data on present populations.
There are several researchers who considered the Giant Leaf-Nosed Bat extinct due to the lack of data as well as not observing the creature in over 60 years.
This species of Leaf-Nosed Bat has a noticeable protrusion stemming from its nose which is used to communicate with other bats on several frequencies. The facial feature of the bat is what initially led scientists to conclude that it was an entirely new species of bat.
This new discovery also promotes the idea that Vietnam is home to even more undiscovered species of animals and that further destruction of natural habitats will further wipe out species which have yet to be discovered.