Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Picture of the Day

Bats evolved diverse skull shapes due to echolocation, diet

Bats make up one of the largest groups of mammals, with more than 1,300 species worldwide. Up close, bat species look quite different from one another. Some have large ears; others sport elaborate noses or long jaws. With so much morphological variety, bats represent an opportunity to learn what types of evolutionary forces shape the shapes of animals. A team of biologists has been using bats to do just that, by focusing on diversity among bat skulls. The researchers performed high-resolution microCT scans of the skulls of more than 200 bat species. They used the scans as well as information on the evolutionary relationships among bat species to analyze the types of physical changes that evolved in bat skulls over tens of millions of years and correlate them with specific events in bat evolution, such as when a lineage switched diets or adapted to a new ecological niche. They report that two major forces have shaped bat skulls over their evolutionary history: echolocation and diet. They were even able to determine when in bat history these forces were dominant.

Visit Website | Image credit: Dennis Wise/University of Washington