The present drawing is a preparatory study for plate 68 of Thomas Bell's publication A History of British Quadrupeds. The plate is entitled 'Greater Horse-Shoe Bat' and was engraved in reverse. Lear also worked on the plates for Bell's A monograph of the testudinata, London, 1836.
The Horseshoe Bat occurs thoughout the temperate and tropical zones of the Old World in both forested and non-forested habitats. The bat's peculiar nostrils are used to emit ultrasonic sounds that help it in its orientation.