Researchers in Papua New Guinea have discovered a bat that was previously believed to have gone extinct.
Although the New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene) has not been seen in 124 years, a research team recently made a positive identification of a female of that species in the area.
According to the Scientific American, the discovery was made by students at the University of Queensland in Australia who were in the region to study the many microbat species that live there. The rare bat was actually found two years ago, and it was given to the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery after the researchers failed to identify its species.
Museum researcher Harry Parnaby successfully identified the creature by analyzing its distinct physical attributes and comparing them to the few notes the scientific community has regarding Pharotis imogene.
Little is known about the species, including whether or not more of its kind exist in the wild. As The Conversation reports, this particular bat was “ethically euthanized” prior to arriving at the Papua New Guinea National Museum, primarily due to the fact that it could serve as an important research tool for identifying similar species in the future.