Species interactions

Species interactions

Animals are under the constant pressure to make adaptive decisions, for example during foraging, for finding shelter or mates, and predator avoidance. Information provided by other animals, both con- and heterospecific, can help in this decision making process.

Animals interact with each other. Here we use echolocating bats, long-lived mammals with fair memory building capacities, to test particularly the heterospecific recognition hypothesis - can animals recognize the species identity of individuals of other species and do they use information provided by these species for their own decision making?

Field work in Bulgaria, tracking bats foraging above a river

In a combined lab- and field-approach, we test how naturally experienced bats from the wild react to the simulated foraging activity of other bats, both from their own species (conspecifics) and from other species (heterospecifics). We analyze multiple aspects of their behaviour, including overall bat activity in the wild, allocation of individual time budgets to different simulations and foraging patches, and fine-scaled 3D-behaviour of individuals based on flight trajectories recorded in the wild.

Flight path of Myotis capaccinii in reaction to heterospecific playback
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