Mark Honigsbaum

Why bats are the perfect hosts for viruses

They harbour thousands – and they spill over to humans more often than you think


The common horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus affinis, is a feat of biological engineering. The size of a small pear, it spends most of the day hanging upside down in dark, dank caves. To keep itself warm it huddles in tight colonies, wrapping its wings — which can measure up to two inches — around itself like a blanket.

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