Navigation Links
Mother bats expert at saving energy
Date:2/10/2010

In order to regulate their body temperature as efficiently as possible, wild female bats switch between two strategies depending on both the ambient temperature and their reproductive status. During pregnancy and lactation, they profit energetically from clustering when temperatures drop. Once they have finished lactating, they use torpor* to a greater extent, to slow their metabolic rate and drop their body temperature right down so that they expend as little energy as possible. These findings by Iris Pretzlaff, from the University of Hamburg in Germany, and colleagues, were just published online in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften The Science of Nature.

When energy demands are high, such as during pregnancy and lactation, female bats need to efficiently regulate their body temperature to minimize energy expenditure. In bats, energy expenditure is influenced by environmental conditions, such as ambient temperature, as well as by social thermoregulation clustering to minimize heat and energy loss. Torpor, another common temperature regulation strategy, has disadvantages for reproductive females, such as delayed offspring development and compromised milk production.

Pretzlaff and team investigated, for the first time in the wild, the thermoregulation strategies used by communally roosting Bechstein's bats during different periods of their reproductive cycle pre-lactation, lactation, and post-lactation. They collected data from two maternity colonies roosting in deciduous forests near Wrzburg in Germany, predominantly in bat boxes. The authors measured ambient temperature over those three periods as well as the bats' metabolic rate by using respirometry (measuring the rate of oxygen consumption).

They found that the bats' metabolic rate was strongly influenced by the ambient temperature. However, by roosting in groups (social thermoregulation), the bats were able to regulate their body temperature more effectively, despite changes in daily ambient temperature.

The bats also used torpor to minimize energy expenditure, particularly post-lactation - more than twice as often than during the other two periods. This suggests that they predominantly use torpor once they can afford to do so without compromising offspring development and milk production. They also formed much smaller groups post-lactation when temperatures were lower because roosting in smaller groups reduces the risk of disturbances by conspecifics. This resulted in longer torpor bouts and therefore longer periods of energy saving.

The authors conclude: "We were able to demonstrate on wild Bechstein's bats, during different reproductive periods, the significance of behavioral and physiological flexibility for optimal thermoregulatory behavior. Our study also highlights the importance of field studies, where the animals can use their behavioural and physiological repertoire, which is often not possible under the generally more controlled regimes in laboratory studies."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mothers exposure to bisphenol A may increase childrens chances of asthma
2. Climate debate: Whats warming us up? Human activity or Mother Nature?
3. Copying mother natures designs
4. A year after discovery, Congos mother lode of gorillas remains vulnerable
5. Playing sport up to the end of pregnancy is healthy for the baby and the mother
6. Faithful mothers have healthier babies
7. Duke develops nano-scale drug delivery for chemotherapy
8. Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring
9. Checkered history of mother and daughter cells explains cell cycle differences
10. Natural compounds, chemotherapeutic drugs may become partners in cancer therapy
11. Mothers immune system may block fetal treatments for blood diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) ... ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing contactless ... use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access and ... ... A research team led by Dr Ajay Kumar ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... 15, 2017 After spending the past two years building ... data collection, GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, ... support, adherence, and data collection vis a vis their members, under ... successful launch of this offer. ... GeneFo ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, ... ... science company pioneering graphene biosensors that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the ... reduces the number of steps needed to gain kinetic binding data for a ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... Any expert in ... has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. Despite their essential ... It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this purpose also tag ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference ... on Immuno-Oncology 360° (IO360°) programming through a series of upcoming panels and events. The ... 7-9, 2018, at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience ...
Breaking Biology Technology: