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Wrinkle-faced bat (Centurio senex)

The wrinkle-faced bat (Centurio senex) belongs to the family Phyllostomidae and is the only identified member of its genus.

This tail-less, medium sized bat weighs about 17g.[2] It generally has a fur coloration ranging from grey to various shades of brown, from drab brown to yellowish-brown on the body, with lighter undersides, a white "beard" around the bottom of the face, a white spot on each shoulder and white horizontal stripes on the wings that are more noticeable in males. [1,7] The nose is greatly reduced in size, but the eyes are quite large. The ears are yellow and the tragus is of moderate length. The tail is covered with hair but does not extend beyond the uropatagium. The broad, flat, hairless face lacks a nose leaf, but is covered by complex, convoluted folds and flaps of naked skin surrounding the nose and mouth and giving the bat a "wrinkled" appearance. [1] Males have more pronounced skin folds than females, have additional facial skin folds that contain scent glands and have a skin mask that can be used to cover the face. The very short, wide skull may enable the bat to produce bite forces up to 20% higher than other bats of a similar size and let it eat a wider range of foods than do other bats.[2] The bat has a total of 28 teeth. The bat weighs 13-28 g (0.46 to 0.99 oz) and is 53-70 mm (2.09-2.76 in) long with an average length of 55 mm (2.17 in). Females tend to be slightly larger than males. [1]The forearm length varies from 41-47 mm. [6]

The bat lives in moist and dry areas, from lowlands to altitudes of 1400 meters, but is most common at altitudes below 1000 m. [4] It lives mainly in dense tropical or deciduous forested areas, occasionally lives in less dense areas. [5] It inhabits various countries in and around Central and South America, dependent on the season. [1] C. s. senex lives in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.[3] C. s. greenhalli lives in Trinidad and Tobago.[1]

The bat is nocturnal, active from dusk into the middle of the night. [7] By day, the bats may roost by themselves or in groups of 2-3 individuals, usually under the leaves of a tree. It is uncommon to see more than 10-12 individuals in the same tree. The sexes roost separately during the non-reproductive months. While roosting, the bats can pull folds of skin on their chins completely over their faces and translucent areas in the skin folds and wings are placed over the eyes in order for the bat to detect light and movement around it.[6] The bats perceive objects using tactile and chemical senses.

The bat is entirely frugivorous (fruit eating) It tends to prefer overripe fruit, such as soft bananas, pawpaws and mangos, which it sucks on. It may also eat unripe fruit, depending on the availability of food resources. It uses small protuberances between the lips and the gums to filter juice when it feeds on mushy fruit. [6] It can temporarily store fruit pulp in storage pouches in the mouth. [1] Elizabeth Dumont believes the strong biting force lets the bat survive through times when soft fruit is scarce as it can eat tougher fruit than do other bats.[2]

Males emit a musky odour from odoriferous glands under the chin to attract females. Their sperm morphology is unique in that the sperm head has a rounded nucleus and extremely pointed acrosome.[1] Mating seems to occur from January-August, but males are most sexually active in March. [1] Females are probably polyestrous and asynchronous can be pregnant every month from January-August except May. Pregnant females usually roost in the same tree with the males. There is usually one altricial young. Lactation occurs in February, March and August. [6]

This species is not endangered and is rated Least Concern, but is quite uncommon within the areas it inhabits.

The binomial name Centurio senex derives from the Latin centurio (division into hundreds) and senex (old people), as it was thought that the face of the bat looked like that of a 100-year-old man.[1]

The two subspecies are C. s. senex and C. s. greenhalli. The latter subspecies is found mainly in Trinidad [1] and differs from the more common C. s. senex by being larger and in having a more domed braincase, better developed sagittal crest and relatively shorter maxillary toothrow.[1]


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