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Like mother, like (adopted) daughter Baby bats act like their adoptive mothers, according to a Tel Aviv University study, published in BMC Biology. The researchers found that rural bat babies adopted by urban mothers took on traits of urban bats, like boldness. They found the same effect when urban babies were adopted by rural mothers. … Continue reading You may have missed…

Alien plants may pose risk for flying foxes

Introduced ‘alien’ plant species aren’t providing a balanced meal to Christmas Island flying foxes (Pteropus natalis), scientists say, with implications for colonies across the country. Just 3800 flying foxes – also known as fruit bats – are left on Christmas Island. One of their biggest threats is the changing natural habitat, with humans planting many … Continue reading Alien plants may pose risk for flying foxes

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Ocean ghost currents undo gravity Flinders University researcher Jochen Kaempf has discovered how ghost currents and sediment can ‘reverse’ the force of gravity. The study, published in the Journal of Marine Science, shows how suspended sediment particles in the ocean appear to move upwards, despite being heavier than seawater, due to these ‘ghost currents’. “To … Continue reading You may have missed…

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Body battery Engineers from the University of Colorado, Boulder, US, have created a wearable device that can draw electricity from the human body. The device, described in the journal Science Advances, is made from a combination of thermoelectric chips, liquid metal as wiring and a variety of carbon-based polymers. It can convert heat from the body into electrical … Continue reading You might have missed…

Bats predict where prey is headed

Bats calculate where their prey is headed by building on-the-fly predictive models of target motion from echoes, US researchers have found. They use the time delay between each echolocation call and the resulting echoes to determine how far away prey is, and tilt their heads to catch the changing intensity of echoes to figure out … Continue reading Bats predict where prey is headed

Vampire bats choose to social distance

Vampire bats, it seems, embrace what you could think of as social distancing. A new study published in the journal Behavioural Ecology suggests that when they are sick they spend less time near others from their community, which slows how quickly a disease will spread. The research team, led by Ohio State University, US, had … Continue reading Vampire bats choose to social distance

Flying foxes are very mobile mammals

Australia’s flying foxes are known for their nomadic lifestyle. Now, a new study has ranked them among the most mobile mammals on the planet. However, their frequent flier status does have drawbacks, the researchers say, as it often puts them in conflict with humans. More and more are exploiting urban foraging and roosting resources, leading … Continue reading Flying foxes are very mobile mammals

How bats know which echo to believe

A bat’s ability to clearly distinguish one echo from another has long inspired those trying to develop radar and sonar systems that perform well in cluttered environments. Scientists have been exploring the bat-inspired SCAT (spectrogram correlation and transformation receiver) for more than two decades, for example. Now a team from Brown University, US, has taken … Continue reading How bats know which echo to believe

Live fast, die last

In the tall church towers of Brittany in northwest France, the fountain of youth stirs to life each night. In scenes that might be cut from a Gothic novel, colonies of small Myotis myotis (greater mouse-eared bats) awaken from their roosts, flying out in waves into the Atlantic darkness. Awaiting them each July for the … Continue reading Live fast, die last

Bloody great mates

Every human has a hatful of stories about the ways they formed friendships over the years – with university friends, house-share mates, lovers and co-workers.  But until now, scientists haven’t known how friendly connections form among strangers in nature. That’s all changed thanks to a fascinating new study of vampire bats, from the subfamily Desmodontinae, … Continue reading Bloody great mates