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New Bat Species, Hipposideros Griffini, Discovered In Vietnam (PHOTO)

03/01/2012 09:14 pm ET | Updated Mar 02, 2012

No, there is nothing wrong with this bat's nose.

According to National Geographic, this is Hipposideros griffini, or a Griffin's leaf-nosed bat, a new species of bat that was recently discovered in Vietnam.

The bat's peculiar looking nose assists in echolocation, or the sonar-like ability that bats -- and some other animals -- use to help them navigate, DiscoveryNews reports.

The animal, which is described in the February issue of the Journal of Mammology, was first seen in 2008 in a national park in Vietnam. But it wasn't until later, after catching some of the bats, that a team of researchers found out it was a actually a new species that had never before been documented.

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In some ways, the Griffin's leaf-nosed bat is like Hipposideros armiger, or the great roundleaf bat. While Griffin's leaf-nosed bat is smaller, the two animals have similarly flattened noses and sometimes live in the same environment in Vietnam, according to the Journal of Mammology. But unlike the great roundleaf bat, the Griffin's leaf-nosed bat is much calmer, Vu Dinh Thong, the lead author of the study, told National Geographic.

The new bat species is named after the late Donald Redfield Griffin, a professor at Rockefeller University in New York who studied echolocation.

New species are discovered frequently. In fact, according to The New York Times, around 15,000 new species are reported every year. Last month, scientists announced the discovery of Potamites montanicola, a semi-aquatic reptile found in Peru's Andes Mountains. And just last September, three new bat species were discovered in Vietnam, Wired reported at the time.

Can't get enough bats? Check out this video of Lil' Drac, an orphaned short-tailed fruit bat that was rescued.

And for more on the new species, including comments from Vu Dinh Thong, the lead author of the study, click over to National Geographic.

LOOK: Griffin's leaf-nosed bat:
Photo credit: Vu Dinh Thong

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