We need bats, but in the same way we need their prey the insects. Its impossible to see all the services they perform in eating pests and even spreading seeds in the case of fruit bats, just as we seem to have ignored the bees working at pollination of orchards!
The European snow vole, choughs and one bat are specialists, isolated mainly in alpine habitats while other species out-compete them at lower altitude. This is an interesting study from the Basque country, where the bat species is finally pinned down to its exact diet of mainly alpine moths. The use of DNA bar codes for identifying many different species is also praiseworthy, as it leads to further research now on the fauna and flora of many other environments.
Flight in our birds and bats is an interesting process as well as a part of life that we always seem to want to emulate. Avoiding obstacles within a flock, or negotiating forests is an area we need to study for our own needs, even if we simply use it for in-flight entertainment. The serious use of bird mechanisms for various aircraft such as drones is always likely as robotic systems develop.
When we study insects and birds in the air, or other animals in water, the interest often lies in how they can change their locomotive effort in order to counteract wind or currents. The use of computer modelling can also add the extra benefit of prediction of movement under various conditions.
The ways in which social information are passed on and when they are useful are intriguing in many animal species. Here the acoustic frequencies of bats were tapped into and their importance as food signals was passed on somehow to other male bats.
The thought of bat and whale being related because they have similar hearing is incorrect. If we study a range of species, though, the evolutionary convergences of many kinds of sensory structures is very involving. What's next? Our chimpanzee friends will be developing their typing skills before we know it!
1031 large orders of the Mammalia, excluding whales and bats, have been followed during the Coenozoic since dinosaurs disappeared and some small mammals appeared.
Bat echolocation helps them communicate with each other as well as orientation and predation on organisms in air or water.
Major roads can reduce numbers of protected bats and ruin their habitat, says a new University of Leeds study.
Bat populations everywhere are being decimated by a combination of threats they have no defense against. For instance, there's white-nose syndrome in the northeastern and eastern United States. And now, bats are turning up dead in the vicinity of wind farms. The number of fatalities is appalling.
A antibody has been developed to treat the Hendra virus. This is the first treatment available for this disease. The Hendra virus is a type of henipavirus, a virus often carried by bats. The cross-species infection was alarming and the route from bat to horse and then to humans was something that researchers wanted to block. When infected with Nipa, another henipavirus, humans suffer a 75% fatality rate.
The unique audio reception of the bats is aided by this truly freaky muscle that contracts 100X faster than normal muscle and 20X faster than the fastest human muscle, surrounding the eye. Weep ye who admire Mr. Bolts 100 metres: this bat could do it a little better, in 0.1 seconds!
Fruit bats have the ability to vary the scope of their sonar probings, to match up with the complexity of the feeding ground they are flying through, according to scientists. This flexible adaptation of the senses could be a first, say the research team, who are publishing their paper on the PLoS ONE website today.
Plants can use more than scent and flowers to attract pollinators - an upcoming paper in Science describes how a Cuban vine uses the sound reflected off a dish-shaped leaf to pull in echo-sounding bats. Experiments show the bats are twice as likely to find nectar-laden flowers adorned with the 'echo-beacon', giving the dispersed vine more chance of a successful pollination.
Careful location of renewable energy developments may reduce impacts on birds and bats. Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has established a new wildlife and renewable energy program to study and understand the movements of birds and bats and to assess the potential interactions between energy facilities and wildlife.
A new plan released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aims to coordinate management of white nose syndrome, a deadly disease killing bats. The plan provides a framework for investigating and responding to white nose syndrome, outlining who is responsible for which activities, and how they will coordinate their efforts.
Conservationists may be taking a second look at how close to extinction some animals are, thanks to scientists who have spotted important differences between how male and female bats feed. They found that female bats feed in completely different areas to males. The females prefer to hunt specifically in aquatic habitats, such as lakes and marshes, but males hunt in a broad range of areas, including rivers, cities and farmland.
A deadly fungus known as White Nose Syndrome is threatening to wipe out North America's hibernating bat population. Conservationists across North America are racing to discover a solution to a deadly fungus that is threatening to wipe out the hibernating bat population. White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a fatal disease that targets hibernating bats and the cause is believed to be a newly discovered cold-adapted fungus, Geomyces destructans that invades the living skin of hibernating bats.