Frugivorous bats evaluate the quality of social information when choosing novel foods

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Behavioral Ecology. 2014, 25(5), pp. 1233-1239. ISSN 1045-2249. eISSN 1465-7279. Available under: doi: 10.1093/beheco/aru120
Zusammenfassung

The ability to discriminate information quality from multiple social partners may be essential to animals that use social cues in deciding when, where, and what to eat. This may be particularly important in species that rely on ephemeral and widely dispersed resources. We show that tent-making bats, Uroderma bilobatum, socially acquire preferences for novel foods through interactions with roostmates both in captivity and in natural roosts and that these food cues can influence roostmates’ decisions at least for several days. More importantly, these bats can distinguish between the quality and information content of 2 different cues that are brought back to their roost. Inexperienced individuals prefer food that has been consumed by a roostmate to food whose odor is present only on the fur of a roostmate that has eaten sugar water. The ability of bats to discriminate odors on breath and fur may allow them to select the most informative cues about the presence or renewed availability of dispersed resources. This selectivity may help stabilize roosts as information centers for the social acquisition of updated information on unpredictable and widely distributed food items.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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information center, public information, roost, social learning
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ISO 690O'MARA, Michael Teague, Dina K. N. DECHMANN, Rachel A. PAGE, 2014. Frugivorous bats evaluate the quality of social information when choosing novel foods. In: Behavioral Ecology. 2014, 25(5), pp. 1233-1239. ISSN 1045-2249. eISSN 1465-7279. Available under: doi: 10.1093/beheco/aru120
BibTex
@article{OMara2014Frugi-29361,
  year={2014},
  doi={10.1093/beheco/aru120},
  title={Frugivorous bats evaluate the quality of social information when choosing novel foods},
  number={5},
  volume={25},
  issn={1045-2249},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology},
  pages={1233--1239},
  author={O'Mara, Michael Teague and Dechmann, Dina K. N. and Page, Rachel A.}
}
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