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New Bat Has Extraordinary Nostrils

Meet Walston's tube-nosed bat, named after real batman Joe Walston, who works to save bats in Southeast Asia.

A new bat has just entered the animal kingdom recordbooks. Meet Walston's tube-nosed bat, named after real batman Joe Walston, who works to save bats and other wildlife in Southeast Asia.

ANIMAL PLANET: Bat Facts, Pictures, Videos

As the rest of the new bat's name suggests, it has a very unusual nose with "extraordinary nostrils," according to a Wildlife Conservation Society press release.

Other bats that have this kind of distinctive nose, such as a fruit bat found not too long ago in Papua New Guinea. (If you click on that last hyperlink, note the fruit bat's resemblance to Yoda from the Star Wars movies.)

This latest species, Murina walstoni, is a small brown and white bat from the Veun Sai Protected Forests in northeastern Cambodia. This region supports rich species diversity that includes animals such as:

A population of giant ibis ( Packs of Sun bears ( Clouded leopards ( Golden cats Pygmy loris ( Walston, the bat's namesake, is Executive Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Programs. He, along with researchers Csorba Gabor of the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Nguyen Truong Son of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Ith Saveng of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and Neil Furey of Flora and Fauna International described the new bat species, as well as two other new bats, in a recent issue of the Journal of Mammalogy.

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Walston may not wear a cape, but he's been a crusader for bats in Vietnam since at least 1994.

("Batman" Joe Walston)

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"I am flattered and humbled to have this extremely rare species named after me," he was quoted as saying in the WCS press release. "Important research like this confirms the richness of the region for biodiversity and increases the urgency to protect wild places while there is still time."