Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. M. Brock Fenton

Abstract

When nectar-feeding bats converge on a food source, they may use vocal signals to minimize the risk of interference by others and maximize feeding efficiency. I conducted playback experiments with captive Pallas’ long-tongued bats (Glossophaga soricina) and wild lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) to investigate the implications of vocalizations on feeding behaviour and assess behavioural responses. I hypothesized that echolocation calls and social calls are used as air traffic signals around a central food source. I found evidence that L. yerbabuenae primarily use echolocation calls as signals to maintain an efficient group feeding system, and detect their conspecifics through eavesdropping. G. soricina may rely more on active localization of others than on eavesdropping to effect air traffic control, but eavesdropping on vocalizations may still indirectly influence feeding and flight behaviour.


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