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.
This photo, taken under a bridge in Panama, shows two vampire bats. The bat on the left that looks clean and healthy; the one on the right is covered with bat flies and guano and looks to be having a bad day. Do vampire bats avoid groupmates that seem sick? It probably depends on the disease … Continue reading New paper: When sickness changes a social network, different kinds of social ties respond in different ways
... by Simon Ripperger, Rachel Page, Frieder Mayer, and Gerry Carter. I would love to get early feedback on this one, so please email me if you have any. We submitted it to Biology Letters. Here's the preprint (what's a preprint?) at BioRxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2019.12.16.874057v1 Common vampire bat (Traer Scott) ABSTRACT: Kin discrimination allows organisms to … Continue reading New preprint: Evidence for unfamiliar kin recognition in vampire bats
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
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)
In 2016 and 2017, we captured female vampire bats and then released them back into the wild almost two years later to track their wild association networks. During their time in captivity, 12 of the females gave birth to pups. Would these captive-born bats be able to survive in the wild? Jineth Berrío-Martínez conducted an experiment … Continue reading Can a captive-born vampire bat feed on a live animal?
Simon Ripperger will be joining our team this summer in Panama. Simon recently published the first paper on his new method for sampling dynamic social networks of whole groups of bats in the field. The paper in Biology Letters is entitled "Proximity sensors on common noctule bats reveal evidence that mothers guide juveniles to roosts … Continue reading Proximity sensors, preprints, and grants
Last year, I attended a symposium hosted by Peter Kappeler at the German Primate Center on the topic of "social complexity". A bunch of evolutionary and behavioral ecologists from different backgrounds got together to argue about stuff like 'How should we define social complexity?', 'Is the brain size of a species a good of measure … Continue reading New paper on relatedness and social networks across different bats
This week I’ve been working with a team of bat researchers in Lamanai, Belize (an archaeological site of the ruins of a Mayan city). We are collecting data for a study on the effects of sickness behavior on social associations in wild vampire bats. Last year, PhD student Sebastian "Basti" Stockmaier and I conducted two … Continue reading Fieldwork: Lamanai, Belize
https://youtu.be/S3ietoB5qLE More information: Sears Lab