The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai) is quite the bat.
Its most distinctive features are its nose, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a pig’s snout, and its size.
This bat is tiny. Extremely tiny. Adults weigh less than weigh less than ¼ of an ounce and are about 3 centimeters long. That’s shorter than the adult human thumb. They have a teeny-tiny tail that’s nearly impossible to see and wings that are so large in comparison to its miniscule body that they seem like they should belong to different kind of bat.
The bat was discovered in the mid-1970’s in what is now the Sai Yok National Park by Kitti Thonlongya. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat range is limited to the Western parts of Thailand and the southeast section of Myanmar (formally known as Burma.)
The tiny bats are attracted to limestone caves that line the rivers. Colonies ranging from 10-500 have been discovered living in caves, though 100 appears to be the preferred number. The little bit of observation time that’s been dedicated to Kitti’s hog-nosed bats indicates that they like hunting near twilight and dawn. The insects they consume must be small. The structure of the bats’ wings indicated they can easily hover in one location. Other than that, very little is known about this species.
Even though no one has managed to create an accurate census of the species current population, Kitti’s hog-nosed bats are listed as endangered. Conservation concerns surrounding this type of bat include habitat destruction, predation, and roost disruptions.
Not only is the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat the smallest bat in the world, it’s also the smallest known mammal. There are a few shrews that weigh less than the Kitti’s hog-nosed bats but their bodies are longer.
Although formally named Kitti’s hog-nosed, they’re also commonly called bumblebee bat.
The 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists Kitti’s Hog-nosed bats as endangered.