Autopsies carried out on 26 short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus sphinx, Pteropodidae, Chiroptera) from Guangdong Province, South China, revealed that the hearts of three individuals were found lying in the right hemithoracic cavity with their base-to-apex axes directed to the right. This is the reverse of what is normally seen in mammals and is similar to the rare congential heart defect known as dextrocardia which has been described in humans. A comparison of the two orientated hearts found that there was no significant difference in heart mass (MH) or relative heart mass (RHM). We observed that the short-nosed fruit bat has higher RHM compared to non-flying mammals but lower RHM when compared to insectivorous bats, and similar RHM when compared to those of other fruit bats.
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Vol. 14 • No. 2