Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane
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The length of the forearm, the body mass and the length of the total gap of the fourth metacarpal-phalangeal joint were measured in order to develop empirical growth curves for a free-ranging population of the lesser mouseeared bat Myotis blythii in a maternity colony in western Iran. Length of forearm and body mass followed a linear pattern of growth until day 14 (at mean rates of 1.44 mm/day and 0.43 g/day respectively), and subsequently decreased to reach a stable level. The length of the total gap of the metacarpalphalangeal joint increased up to 10 days and decreased when it closed at over 70 days. Initiation of flight occurred 3-4 weeks after birth. A method of estimation of age was derived from values of length of forearm and the total gap of the fourth metacarpal-phalangeal joint during the preflight and post flight periods.
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