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Comparative analyses suggest that information transfer promoted sociality in male bats in the temperate zone


Safi, K; Kerth, G (2007). Comparative analyses suggest that information transfer promoted sociality in male bats in the temperate zone. American Naturalist, 170(3):465-472.

Abstract

The evolution of sociality is a central theme in evolutionary biology. The vast majority of bats are social, which has been explained in terms of the benefits of communal breeding. However, the causes for segregated male groups remain unknown. In a comparative study, we tested whether diet and morphological adaptations to specific foraging styles, two factors known to influence the occurrence of information transfer, can predict male sociality. Our results suggest that the species most likely to benefit frominformation transfer - namely, those preying on ephemeral insects and with morphological adaptations to feeding in open habitat - are more likely to form male groups. Our findings also indicate that solitary life was the ancestral state of males and sociality evolved in several lineages. Beyond their significance for explaining the existence of male groups in bats, our findings highlight the importance of information transfer in the evolution of animal sociality.

The evolution of sociality is a central theme in evolutionary biology. The vast majority of bats are social, which has been explained in terms of the benefits of communal breeding. However, the causes for segregated male groups remain unknown. In a comparative study, we tested whether diet and morphological adaptations to specific foraging styles, two factors known to influence the occurrence of information transfer, can predict male sociality. Our results suggest that the species most likely to benefit frominformation transfer - namely, those preying on ephemeral insects and with morphological adaptations to feeding in open habitat - are more likely to form male groups. Our findings also indicate that solitary life was the ancestral state of males and sociality evolved in several lineages. Beyond their significance for explaining the existence of male groups in bats, our findings highlight the importance of information transfer in the evolution of animal sociality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:September 2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:15
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0003-0147
Additional Information:© 2007 by The University of Chicago
Publisher DOI:10.1086/520116
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-713

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