London, Jan 21: A tiny bat, the size of a human thumb, has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe, proving that bats can fly across seas.
The lifeless body of the Nathusius’ pipistrelle, which weighs just 7.6g, was discovered in a farmyard fruit-storing shed in the village of Pietersbierum on the north coast of the Netherlands, the Independent reported.
It died 370 miles from where it was tagged with a “weightless” metal ring 15 months earlier at Blagdon, near Bristol.
It is thought that the record-breaking mammal may have died from exhaustion, although it is also possible that it may have been crushed by a fruit pallet.
Daniel Hargreaves of the Bat Conservation Trust, who put the ring on the animal said that they have hypothesised for a long time about the migration of bats to and from the UK but it was very difficult to prove.
He said that this finding was a great surprise and is helping them to understand the huge journeys that these bats can make.
They already knew that bats migrated over incredibly long distances over land, but were not sure whether they flew over the sea.
As a result of this finding, they suspect that this in fact happens quite a lot, he added. (ANI)