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
Rachel Crisp is currently writing her masters thesis on dominance interactions in female vampire bats. Males have a clear dominance hierarchy in competition over roost territories, but do the female vampires have a dominance rank? If so, does it strongly correlate with cooperative interactions? Her work should come out next year! Despite all the work on … Continue reading English translation of Park (1988) Dominance relationships in a colony of vampire bats. Korean Journal of Zoology.
Adam Cole from NPR visited our lab to shoot this great video short on human-vampire bat conflict. So "should we wipe out vampire bats?" No, even if we could, we shouldn't try, and frankly, nobody is actually suggesting exterminating vampire bats as a long-term solution. More on this topic in a previous post: Is killing … Continue reading Should we wipe out vampire bats?
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)
It can be found here. Summary: 35 years of field observations 13,642 mist-net captures and 181 whole roost captures vampire bats in Argentina (near the southern limit of their range) have a reproductive season (unlike most other places) we have new records for oldest wild vampire bats: 16 and 17 years we corroborated prior evidence … Continue reading Latest paper: Reproductive seasonality, sex ratio and philopatry in Argentina’s common vampire bats