engaged in or having the power of flight.


Volant “engaged in or having the power of flight” is a borrowing from French, in which it means “flying” and is the present participle of the verb voler “to fly, steal.” Voler derives from Latin volāre “to fly,” which is of mysterious and uncertain origin. Some linguists derive volāre from a Proto-Indo-European root, gwel- “to raise the arm, throw, reach,” under the assumption that the definition could have shifted from “to raise the arm” to “to spread one’s wings,” but this hypothesis is not universally accepted. If volāre does come from this root, it is a cognate of Ancient Greek ballein “to throw” (as in ballisticparabolaproblem, and symbol). Volant was first recorded in English in the first decade of the 1500s.


More than 160 million years ago, the forests of ancient China were home to a bizarre predator: a tiny dinosaur that glided from tree to tree with leathery, bat-like wings. The newfound fossil, unveiled today in the journal Nature, is just the second feathered dinosaur found with signs of large membranes on its wings ….“The most exciting thing, for me, is that it shows that some dinosaurs evolved very different structures to become volant,” or capable of some form of flight, says lead study author Min Wang, a paleontologist at China’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

Bats get a bad rap. From horror films to tabloid pages to Halloween, media and cultural depictions of our planet’s only volant, or flying, mammals have long generated and reinforced unfounded fear …. Such hostile attitudes make it harder to conserve bats and thereby safeguard the many critical benefits they provide us. What’s more, persecuting bats because of the diseases they harbor could easily backfire.