Friends help bats vampire to survive the loss of loved ones

Friends help bats vampire to survive the loss of loved ones

Biologists from Panama, Germany and USA found that females of bats social ties with relatives who are not close relatives, help them to survive the loss of a family member.

The study is published in the journal Biology Letters.

Bats vampires often share food with their mothers and daughters and care for each other. In addition, they establish weaker relationships with individuals unrelated to them. Bats-vampires are very sensitive to lack of food, and help successfully pokosivshikhsya relatives for them is vital.

To study the interaction of bats, the authors monitored the behavior of 30 individuals of Desmodus rotundus in over four years. Scientists for a day took away one of the animals from the colony before its return took away one of the “donors” of food (mother or daughter), and then watched as the animal to learn in the changed environment.

It turned out that individuals who have ties with “friends” harder, better cope with the loss of a breadwinner, compared to those who hoped only to relatives.

“Is it better to have a small number of strong social ties or a lot weaker? Theoretically, you should invest hand at the ready to assist partner, it ensures great returns. However, social animals are unable to devote all its time and energy on someone, especially in an unpredictable environment. It’s like putting all your eggs in one basket”, explains one of the authors, postdoc Smithsonian tropical research Jerry Carter.