Author Archives: Gerry Carter

About Gerry Carter

I study the behavioral, sensory, and social ecology of vampire bats.

A new field site in Panama

I am hoping to develop some new long-term field sites for future work on vampire bats. On March 27, I traveled with Austin Garrido, Rob Mies (director of the Organization for Bat Conservation), his daughter Georgia Mies, and labmates May Dixon, … Continue reading

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Update: three golden opportunities

Now – October 2017, the Smithsonian Institute has awarded me with a fellowship to finish collecting data from lab and field experiments on vampire bat social behavior with Rachel Page at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. November 2017 – August 2018, … Continue reading

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Reciprocity before Trivers

“New” ideas are rarely new. In science we stand on the shoulders of giants and whenever I read the works of the giants, I often find that many ideas or discoveries– that I thought were “mine” or belonged to some … Continue reading

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Field notes on weekend trip to Costa Rica (with disc-winged bats!)

Spix’s disc-winged bat Thyroptera tricolor has suction cups (yes, suction cups) on its thumbs, and it uses these to cling to the smooth surface of young, furled Heliconia leaves. I’ve wanted to see a disc-winged bat since I was about … Continue reading

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New paper: risk exaggerates nepotism in vampire bats

Here’s the paper. In evolutionary biology, we often draw a line between “altruism” and other cooperative traits. Altruistic traits are special in that they lead to a net cost to one’s survival and reproduction. Some traits are clear cases: when a … Continue reading

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‘Team Vampire’ Fall 2016

Julia Vrtilek (Biology, Amherst College, 2015) is studying the development of grooming and food-sharing networks in young-of-the-year vampire bats. What are your interests? I find it fascinating and awe-inspiring that “from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most … Continue reading

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“Prepared learning” in bats

I had a brief discussion with someone at the International Behavioral Ecology meetings about evidence in bats for prepared learning–the phenomenon that animals learn some associations faster than others. More importantly, the notion here is that animals learn things faster when … Continue reading

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