Eavesdropping fringe-lipped bats spread culture through sound

AUSTIN, Texas--Like a diner ordering a dessert based solely on the "oohs" and "aahs" of a customer eating the same dish the next table over, frog-eating bats learn to eat new prey by eavesdropping on their neighbors as they eat, report biologists from The University of Texas at Austin.

Rachel Page and Mike Ryan, studying fringe-lipped bats at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, found that nave bats quickly learned to associate a new frog call with edible prey by observing their neighbor eating, even when the call comes from a frog they wouldn't normally eat.

Page, a graduate student in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Ryan, the Clark Hubbs Regents Professor in Zoology, report their findings in the June 20 issue of Current Biology.

This is the first study to show predators learning socially through acoustic, rather than visual or olfactory, prey cues.

"It is stunning that these bats show such rapid changes in their responses to prey cues, to the extent that they will respond to a stimulus that they should be under strong selective pressure to avoid in the wild," said Page. "This result is very unexpected and shows an extreme degree of flexibility."

Through the bats' ability to learn socially, the new connection between a frog call and the presence of food can quickly spread through the tight-knit bat colony.

To observe the cultural transmission of this new information in the bats, Page and Ryan captured wild fringe-lipped bats and tested them in large outdoor flight cages. They played the calls of large, poisonous cane toads through speakers and gave the bats that approached the speaker a reward of raw fish. Once a bat learned to associate the cane toad call with food, they became "tutor" bats.

Nave bats were then allowed to observe the tutor bats. The nave bats, on average, learned to associate the new frog call with food after observing their tutor five time

Contact: Rachel Page
University of Texas at Austin

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Eavesdropping comes naturally to young song sparrows
2. Eavesdropping nuthatches distinguish danger threats in chickadee alarm calls
3. Proteaceae spread by continental drift and transoceanic dispersal
4. Californians urged to help reduce spread of Sudden Oak Death
5. Citrus greening continues to spread in citrus growing areas
6. A compound from olive-pomace oil gets 80 percent slowing down of HIV spread
7. Revealed -- Mosquito genes that could be controlling the spread of killer viruses
8. How memory T cells curb the spread of viruses throughout the body
9. Small-scale agricultural changes may help eradicate widespread disease
10. Cornell lab confirms deadly fish virus spreading to new species
11. Landmark study details demographic, ecological and genetic spread of rabies in raccoon outbreak

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into a ... multispecific antibodies (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy to ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... today announced that the company has received ISO9001:2015 certification for the development ... research industries. The decision to pursue ISO9001 accreditation demonstrates Kemp’s commitment to ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... Rigaku Corporation ... next event in a series of TOPIQ webinars, which will cover the Transferable ... was developed in response to social distancing measures that resulted in postponements and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... 01, 2020 , ... Slone Partners , a nationwide ... placement of Julianne Averill , CPA, as Chief Financial Officer at ... implementing key business strategies to accelerate Alveo’s growth as the company advances its ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... cold chain validation engineering firm, is making available for free its new ... to incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics licensing application (BLA). ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... , ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell ... for only $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities ... therapy works for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... eSource has long been touted as the ... the history of eSource, the reasons it did not take off as quickly as ... source, the industry is moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: