This is some of the research that contributed to the recently released Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery. http://amzn.to/2k8qJgi. Bats have a major role in this books, also the people who try to protect them when they become a target of fearful people during the pandemic.
In mammals, teeth provide quick and easy information as to diet, and an endless source of argument as to whether homo sapiens sapiens (that’s you) are carnivores or herbivores. Of course, the answer to this argument is that we are omnivores.
Sharp, pointed teeth indicate a carnivorous diet. In fact, most felines are obligate carnivores, so putting you pet cat on a vegan diet will kill it.
Flat, grinding teeth indicate a plant based diet. This horse is a typical herbivore and loves a vegan diet.
Often examining isolated characteristics can tell a lot about an animal’s environment, diet, and place in the food chain. Darwin famously famously supported his case for evolution be cataloging the beaks of finches.
In the case of bats, wings provide instant information about environment, diet, and prey. Most bats are designed on the model of jet fighter for maneuverability. They use this to avoid obstacles when flying inside caves or through trees.
They also, like fighter jets, use sonar (radar) and agility to track and capture flying targets. These bats have relatively short wings. The same can be seen in birds that live in forest and jungle environments.
Alternately wings might be long. Relative large wings optimize for distance flying.
Fruit bats have long wings appropriate for their stationary targets (fruit) and look more like cargo transports or bombers. Carrion birds like vultures and condors also follow this model.
So short, stubby wings: think jet fighter, and large, long wings think bombers. Evolution is warfare, and the right equipment in the right situation is victorious.