First three-dimensional tracks of bat migration reveal large amounts of individual behavioral flexibility
2019-09, O'Mara, Michael Teague, Wikelski, Martin, Kranstauber, Bart, Dechmann, Dina K. N.
Animal migration has fascinated humans at least since Aristotle's time, but we only started to understand its details thanks to the famous "arrow storks" in the 19th century that returned to Europe with an arrow in their body, providing the first clues of African wintering sites. Bird migration has received a large amount of attention since then, but knowledge about migration of other organisms, even small passerine birds, remains rudimentary (Bowlin et al. 2010).
Group Hunting : A Reason for Sociality in Molossid Bats?
2010, Dechmann, Dina K. N., Kranstauber, Bart, Gibbs, David, Wikelski, Martin, Thomas, Adrian L.R.
Many bat species live in groups, some of them in highly complex social systems, but the reasons for sociality in bats remain largely unresolved. Increased foraging efficiency through passive information transfer in species foraging for ephemeral insects has been postulated as a reason for group formation of male bats in the temperate zones. We hypothesized that benefits from group hunting might also entice tropical bats of both sexes to live in groups. Here we investigate whether Molossus molossus, a small insectivorous bat in Panama, hunts in groups. We use a phased antenna array setup to reduce error in telemetry bearings. Our results confirmed that simultaneously radiotracked individuals from the same colony foraged together significantly more than expected by chance. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that many bats are social because of information transfer between foraging group members. We suggest this reason for sociality to be more widespread than currently assumed. Furthermore, benefits from group hunting may also have contributed to the evolution of group living in other animals specialized on ephemeral food sources.
Low metabolism in a tropical bat from lowland Panama measured using heart rate telemetry : an unexpected life in the slow lane
2011-11-01, Dechmann, Dina K. N., Ehret, Severin, Gaub, Aline, Kranstauber, Bart, Wikelski, Martin
Animals must optimize their daily energy budgets, particularly if energy expenditures are as high as they are in flying animals. However, energy budgets of free-ranging tropical animals are poorly known. Newly miniaturized heart rate transmitters allowed to address this in the small, energetically limited, Neotropical bat Molossus molossus. High-resolution 48-hour energy budgets showed that this species significantly lowers its metabolism on a daily basis, even though ambient temperatures remain high. Mean roosting heart rate was 144 beats/min-1, much lower than expected for a 10g bat. Low roosting heart rates combined with short nightly foraging times (37 min night–1) resulted in an estimated energy consumption of 4.08 kJ/day-1, less than 1/4 of the predicted field metabolic rate. Our results indicate that future research may reveal this as a more common pattern than currently assumed in tropical animals, which may have implications in the context of the effect of even small temperature changes on tropical species.