Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bats Get The Munchies Too!

Date:
April 4, 2007
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Many of us will be familiar with cravings for sweet food, after having overindulged in alcohol the night before. It appears that Egyptian fruit bats also crave particular types of sugar to reduce the effects of ethanol toxicity. Intoxicated bats may also be less able to respond to attacks from predators, and to avoid obstacles (much like us humans, some might say!).

Fruit bats get the munchies too!
Credit: Francisco Sanchez

Many of us will be familiar with cravings for sweet food, after having overindulged in alcohol the night before. It appears that Egyptian fruit bats also crave particular types of sugar to reduce the effects of ethanol toxicity. Francisco Sanchez from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) presented data demonstrating this on Sunday 1st of April at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting in Glasgow.

The concentration of ethanol rises in fleshy fruits, such as figs and dates, as they ripen. Egyptian fruit bats prefer these fruits when they are ripe, however high concentrations of ethanol (around 1%) are toxic to the animals. Intoxicated bats may also be less able to respond to attacks from predators, and to avoid obstacles (much like us humans, some might say!). The sugar molecule, fructose, is known to reduce the toxicity of ethanol. Therefore, scientists investigated the effect of consuming fructose on ethanol toxicity in Egyptian fruit bats, and whether the fruit bats preferred food containing sucrose after they had consumed ethanol.

It was found that ethanol levels measured in fruit bat breath declined faster after feeding on fructose-containing food, than when the food contained either sucrose or glucose (two other types of sugar). Furthermore when the amount of ethanol in food increased the fruit bats preferred food which contained fructose over glucose-containing food. Intriguingly the fruit bats preferred food containing sucrose above either of the other two sugars. Thus, although only fructose reduced ethanol toxicity for Egyptian fruit bats, the bats themselves perceived both fructose and sucrose as being beneficial. "We think that this observation may be due to a matter of taste or flavour", explains researcher Francisco Sanchez, "The perception of sweetness versus bitterness may vary according the type of sugar and the amount of ethanol consumed. The combination of sucrose and ethanol may just have tasted better than either ethanol and fructose, or ethanol and glucose".

About Sugar:

  • Glucose is a simple sugar (termed monosaccharide) found in most plant and animal tissue. It is the principal sugar found in the blood and is a major source of energy.
  • Fructose is another monosaccharide which occurs in fruits and honey.
  • Sucrose is commonly known as "table sugar", and is composed of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule (and therefore called a disaccharide).

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Bats Get The Munchies Too!." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102420.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2007, April 4). Bats Get The Munchies Too!. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102420.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Bats Get The Munchies Too!." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102420.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins