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.

Related Articles


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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
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