HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Why nectar-feeding bats need a 'power drink' to fly

Nectar-feeding bats burn sugar faster than any other mammal on Earth and three times faster than even top-class athletes ecologists have discovered. The findings, published online in the British Ecological Society's journal Functional Ecology, illustrate that because they live life on an energetic knife edge, these bats are very vulnerable to any changes in their environment that interrupt their fuel supply for even a short period.

Working with a captive breeding colony in Germany, Dr Christian Voigt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin and Professor John Speakman of the University of Aberdeen fed long-tongued bats (Glossophaga soricina) sugar labelled with non-radioactive carbon-13 and then measured the amount of carbon-13 in the bats exhaled breath.

We found that nectar-feeding bats made use of the sugar they were drinking for their metabolism within minutes after drinking it, and after less than half an hour they were fuelling 100% their metabolism from this source. For comparison, the highest rates reported in humans are for athletes who can fuel up to 30% of their metabolism directly from power drinks, they say.

The reason these bats live on such an energetic knife edge is down to the food source they live on and the way they get around. They feed on floral nectars that contain simple sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose, but which are produced in only very small amounts by flowering plants. These sugars are rapidly absorbed and digested, and by metabolising them directly rather than converting them to fat or glycogen and then using them up later the bats get the maximum energy they can from the sugars. This is important because they hover like humming birds, and this kind of flight uses up a great deal of energy.

According to Voigt and Speakman: All animals need energy to power their metabolism. Ultimately this energy comes from food, but usually only a small fraction of the ene
'"/>

Contact: Melanie Thomson
melanie.thomson@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
44-018-654-76270
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
5-Aug-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Spouse may drive you to drink but also can protect you from alcohol
2. Red wine lovers, take heart: More evidence points to the drinks cardiac heath benefits

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/6/2020)... , ... February 06, 2020 ... ... research organization (CRO) specializing in complex interventional medical device and pharmaceutical trials, ... Regulatory Strategy. In this newly established role, Dorothy oversees the development and ...
(Date:2/1/2020)... ... , ... Liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), occurs each year in more ... is the 5th most common cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths. ... of HCC, while China has half of all patients suffering from liver cancer. The ...
(Date:1/29/2020)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... January 29, 2020 , ... ... DNA plasmid, announced it will start production of a DNA vaccine against the ... executed with Inovio Pharmaceuticals. A grant of up to $9 million from the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2020)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2020 , ... ... develops tools for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, has announced ... will sell Shoreline Biome’s microbiome kits and other products to companies and research ...
(Date:2/3/2020)... BUDAPEST, Hungary and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... headquartered in Budapest with US offices in Cambridge, MA, announce that OmniType, the ... Access Program (EAP) from today. OmniType is a best-in-class product featuring locus-multiplexing and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... ... January 28, 2020 , ... Today, Salimetrics announced an addition ... Salivary Total Human IgG Assay Kit exemplifies Salimetrics’ 20+ year commitment ... can extend the accuracy and ease of use of salivary bioscience into infectious ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... The plastic and reconstructive ... Center in New Jersey epitomize the notion that plastic surgery is much more than ... in popular media. , Over the last 20 years NJ Top Docs, Dr. Andrew ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: