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      Siberian weasel Mustela sibirica Pallas, 1773 predatism on bats during winter period

      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          This work presents the results of a three-year natural environment experiment in a cave in Barsukovskaya, Siberia), aimed at assessing the possible impact of mammals preying on a wintering group of bats. The average consumed biomass amount per year was about 2108 g and the estimated number of prey animals was 214, which is about 20% of the maximum number of animals observed. The biomass consumed poorly correlates with the number of animals in the cave. The proportion of the various species remaining in the excrement of predators is strongly determined by the number of these species in the accessible part of the cave. The amount of excrement indicates the regular predatism on bats and, therefore, the presence of specific behavioural adaptation in Mustela sibirica.

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          Most cited references 9

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          THE FOOD OF THE PINE MARTEN MARTES MARTES IN WEST ROSS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND

           J. Lockie (1961)
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            Ecological Interactions between Bats and Nocturnal Birds

             T. Fleming,  M. Fenton (1976)
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              Great tits search for, capture, kill and eat hibernating bats.

              Ecological pressure paired with opportunism can lead to surprising innovations in animal behaviour. Here, we report predation of great tits (Parus major) on hibernating pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) at a Hungarian cave. Over two winters, we directly observed 18 predation events. The tits specifically and systematically searched for and killed bats for food. A substantial decrease in predation on bats after experimental provisioning of food to the tits further supports the hypothesis that bat-killing serves a foraging purpose in times of food scarcity. We finally conducted a playback experiment to test whether tits would eavesdrop on calls of awakening bats to find them in rock crevices. The tits could clearly hear the calls and were attracted to the loudspeaker. Records for tit predation on bats at this cave now span more than ten years and thus raise the question of whether cultural transmission plays a role for the spread of this foraging innovation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                December 06 2019
                December 06 2019
                : 32
                : 111-117
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.32.46617
                © 2019

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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