New paper: how vampire bats form new food-sharing bonds.

We have a new paper out today in Current Biology and it is featured in the New York Times (pdf), National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Discover, Phys.org, Cosmos and I have two radio interviews tomorrow for NPR and BBC. Doing these media interviews has been a pleasant 'distraction' from the coronavirus pandemic which is days … Continue reading New paper: how vampire bats form new food-sharing bonds.

New paper: Vampire bats that cooperate in the lab maintain their social networks in the wild

Here's the paper in Current Biology. The press coverage included PBS, CNN, NPR , BBC, Nature Magazine, Science Magazine, Science News, Popular Science, The Ohio State University, Cosmos Magazine, Wissenschaft, El Mundo, ZME Science, SciShow, and EurekaAlert Press release (video below). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeAiUBM18Cs Take home message: Halloween is a good day to publish a paper on … Continue reading New paper: Vampire bats that cooperate in the lab maintain their social networks in the wild

Latest paper suggests there are two kinds social grooming in vampire bats (and some other updates)

A recent paper from our group (Team Vampire 2017) suggests that vampire bats might perform two different kinds of social grooming. First, a focal vampire bat is more likely to start allogrooming a bat next to them right after grooming themselves. Imagine a cat in your lap that is licking itself and then starts licking … Continue reading Latest paper suggests there are two kinds social grooming in vampire bats (and some other updates)

Behaviour17 Conference

Scientific conferences are some of the biggest highlights of my year. I just attended the Behavior2017 Conference in the beautiful seaside town of Estoril, Portugal. I'm still early enough in my scientific career that when I attend a conference, I often meet, for the first time, people whose work I've read. Public speaking is always … Continue reading Behaviour17 Conference

Latest paper: social bet-hedging in vampire bats (and two other recent and related studies)

Our latest paper here.  Also some early press here. There are actually three recent papers on social networks and the benefits of network size in primates (by Laurent Brent and co-authors), songbirds (by Josh Firth and co-authors), and bats (by me and co-authors): Family network size and survival across the lifespan of female macaques by L. … Continue reading Latest paper: social bet-hedging in vampire bats (and two other recent and related studies)

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 more recent author-- were actually first described by Darwin or some other author from long … Continue reading Reciprocity before Trivers

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 ten years old, and I finally got to see them this week while visiting Gloriana … Continue reading Field notes on weekend trip to Costa Rica (with disc-winged bats!)

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 bee stings you it dies, so the suicidal bee sting is an altruistic trait. But … Continue reading New paper: risk exaggerates nepotism in vampire bats