Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud?

Date:
November 19, 2007
Source:
Forschungsverbund Berlin
Summary:
Populations of fruit-eating bats may be supported by the additional mineral intake at salt licks, and since fruit-eating bats are major seed dispersers in tropical rainforests, mineral licks may have a strong, though indirect impact on plant biodiversity in the tropics.

Mazama deer and bat visiting a salt lick in the Ecuadorian rainforest.
Credit: John Blake

Mother bats know exactly what’s good for them and their young: During pregnancy and lactation female bats are in great need of minerals. Dr. Christian Voigt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and colleagues found out how fruit-eating bats in the Ecuadorian rainforest cover their mineral requirements.

The bats regularly visit so-called salt licks in the rainforest. Salt licks are water bodies with salty water or areas with mineral-rich clay.

The researchers draw far-reaching conclusions: Populations of fruit-eating bats may be supported by the additional mineral intake at salt licks, and since fruit-eating bats are major seed dispersers in tropical rainforests, mineral licks may have a strong, though indirect impact on plant biodiversity in the tropics.

Christian Voigt and his colleagues captured bats at salt licks and randomly selected sites in the Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest. Bats captured at salt licks were almost exclusively pregnant or lactating females, whereas bats captured at randomly selected sites in the forest were equally likely males or females; and females at these sites were neither pregnant nor lactating. Most of the bats at salt licks were fruit-eating species.

Christian Voigt explains: “Bats that do not eat insects often lack minerals, since fruits are poor in minerals. These animals need additional nutrients to increase milk production and promote skeletal growth in their offspring, since their offspring cannot be weaned until they have reached almost adult size. A young bat needs a fully developed skeleton for getting airborne”.

Soils in rainforests are generally depleted in minerals. This affects humans as well. “In tropical South America and Africa, indigenous people also eat mineral-rich clay”, says Voigt. Such clay can be bought at local markets, too. Obviously, bats and humans have discovered a similar solution for the same problem.

Voigt and his colleagues published their study in the open-access online journal “Research Letters in Ecology”.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Forschungsverbund Berlin. "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117103531.htm>.
Forschungsverbund Berlin. (2007, November 19). Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117103531.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin. "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117103531.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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