Author Archives: Gerry Carter

About Gerry Carter

I study the behavioral, sensory, and social ecology of vampire bats. http://socialbat.org.

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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Summer 2016 updates

Our two undergraduate interns Yeli Garcia (Earlham) and Emily Dong (Cornell) just completed their independent projects and finished their seasons in Panama. Yeli’s project was entitled “Guano scent as a cue for roost-finding in vampire bats” and Emily’s was “Co-feeding … Continue reading

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Recent media article about vampire bats and friendship

Sapiens Magazine just put out an article about vampire bats and friendship. The author Leah Shaffer did a great job, probably the most accurate media story on the vampire bats I can remember. Usually, journalists get a lot wrong, but … Continue reading

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Revisiting Wilkinson 1984

In 1984, Gerald Wilkinson published a paper in Nature showing that vampire bats share food in the form of regurgitated blood, within groups that contain both kin and non-kin. This was one of the fi… Source: Revisiting Wilkinson 1984

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