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Original Paper

Behavioral Flexibility Positively Correlated with Relative Brain Volume in Predatory Bats

Ratcliffe J.M.a · Fenton M.B.c · Shettleworth S.J.b

Author affiliations

Departments of aZoology, and bPsychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, cDepartment of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada

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Brain Behav Evol 2006;67:165–176

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: July 25, 2005
Accepted: October 11, 2005
Published online: March 17, 2006
Issue release date: March 2006

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 5
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/BBE

Abstract

We investigated the potential relationships between foraging strategies and relative brain and brain region volumes in predatory (animal-eating) echolocating bats. The species we considered represent the ancestral state for the order and approximately 70% of living bat species. The two dominant foraging strategies used by echolocating predatory bats are substrate-gleaning (taking prey from surfaces) and aerial hawking (taking airborne prey). We used species-specific behavioral, morphological, and ecological data to classify each of 59 predatory species as one of the following: (1) ground gleaning, (2) behaviorally flexible (i.e., known to both glean and hawk prey), (3) clutter tolerant aerial hawking, or (4) open-space aerial hawking. In analyses using both species level data and phylogenetically independent contrasts, relative brain size was larger in behaviorally flexible species. Further, relative neocortex volume was significantly reduced in bats that aerially hawk prey primarily in open spaces. Conversely, our foraging behavior index did not account for variability in hippocampus and inferior colliculus volume and we discuss these results in the context of past research.

© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: July 25, 2005
Accepted: October 11, 2005
Published online: March 17, 2006
Issue release date: March 2006

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 5
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/BBE


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