One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large golden-brown bat native to Eurasia and North Africa with long, slender wings, rounded ears, and a short muzzle.
Nyctalus noctula, family Vespertilionidae
- ‘In another European species, the noctule bat, no genetic evidence was found that could be interpreted as directional colonization and glacial-induced bottlenecks.’
- ‘All free-tailed bats and two noctules reluctant to feed by themselves had to be fed by hand.’
- ‘In addition, the wings of the greater noctule - designed for speed - lack the maneuverability that would be required for hunting a bird in a confined nesting space.’
- ‘The noctule bat's wingspan can reach up to 19 inches, although, like all British varieties, it is totally harmless.’
Late 18th century: from French, from Italian nottola ‘bat’, literally ‘small night creature’.
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