Category Archives: Other topics

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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‘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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An essay about caves and the origins of echolocation

Caves and the origins of echolocation Imagine that you are in a cave, a very familiar cave, but with no light. Do you think you could collect information about your location by shouting or clapping and listening to the echoes? … Continue reading

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How bats respond to distress calls: mobbing? Or predator inspection?

New paper came out on responses of a tropical free-tailed bat to distress calls. The title is Distress Calls of a Fast-Flying Bat (Molossus molossus) Provoke Inspection Flights but Not Cooperative Mobbing. Here’s the story behind the paper. A year … Continue reading

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Crèches in bats and the ‘huddler’s dilemma’

This photo taken by Jerry Wilkinson shows a tight cluster of bat pups in Africa (Rhinolophus darlingi). Several species of bats leave their pups behind in tight clusters like this called crèches. The smaller image shows one adult female greater … Continue reading

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Acoustic-GPS pilot tests with frog-eating bats

I just arrived in Panama and I’m very excited to be here. I recently joined a collaboration between Rachel Page’s lab in Gamboa, Panama and Yossi Yovel’s lab in Tel Aviv Israel. Rachel studies the fringe-lipped or frog-eating bat, Trachops … Continue reading

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