Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 93: May-Jun 1994

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Lactating Male Bats

The scene is a Malaysian forest, where scientists are sampling canopy wildlife with nets:

"When the researchers captured a group of bats in a wide-ranging effort to survey animals that inhabit the Malaysian canopy, they were dumbfounded to see that the eight adult male Dyaks [a species of fruit bat] in the net all had visibly swollen breasts that produced milk upon being gently squeezed."

No other wild male mammals are known to give milk, although inbred domestic male goats and sheep will -- rarely -- lactate. It is not known if the male bats actually nurse the young.

(Angier, Natalie; New York Times, February 24, 1994. Cr. J. Covey. Also: Francis, Charles M., et al; "Lactation in Male Fruit Bats," Nature, 367:691, 1994. Fackelmann, K.A.; Science News, 145:148, 1994.)

Comment. In their book Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, G.M. Gould and W.L. Pyle record several cases of human males lactating and even suckling infants.

From Science Frontiers #93, MAY-JUN 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987