Noctule bat

This tiny skull is from a noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) - the scale is just 1cm square. It was collected from the roof of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, on Mount Dinham in Exeter in 2000.

Peregrine falcons have bred successfully at the church since 1997 and reared a total of 48 young. During breeding season (March to June) a nest box webcam live streams footage from the roof so everyone can watch these now famous birds going about their daily business.

Peregrines feed on birds caught while in flight so it is no surprise that bats are also part of their diet. Noctule bats are usually the first species to fly in the evening, sometimes before the sun has set, and make a good meal for a growing chick. Feral pigeons are the peregrine’s prey of choice but they are not fussy eaters. Remains of over 100 different species of bird have been found at the church.

The bones next to the skull are part of the bat’s wing. Much like our hand, the bat’s wing is comprised of 5 sets of bones, and have a thin skin webbing between them allowing the bat to fly.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Common Name
noctule bat
Simple Name
mammal: skeleton
Full Name
Vespertilionidae: Nyctalus noctula: noctule bat
Period Classification
Modern (1945-); Modern (1900-)
Family Group

Collector / Excavator
Dixon, N
Collection Town
Collection County
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent

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