August 15, 2009

From Jim McClarin:

Re: Scientists look to bat caves for “fountains of youth” (July 1): In “Scientists look to bat caves for ‘fountains of youth’“ Gerald Weismann either took extreme metaphoric license with his taxonomy or had a dolt-out-of-the-blue brain cramp when he uttered, “since bats are rodents with wings. ”

“Maybe Juan Pon­ce De León was­n’t too far off the mark when he searched Flor­i­da for the Foun­tain of Youth,” said Ger­ald Weiss­mann, editor-in-chief of the jour­nal. “As it turns out, one of these bat spe­cies lives out its long life in Flor­i­da. Since bats are ro­dents with wings, this chem­i­cal clue as to why bats beat out mice in the ag­ing game should point sci­en­tists to the source of this elu­sive foun­tain. ”

Bats belong to the mammalian order Chiroptera, mice and other rodents belong to order Rodentia.


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