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      Predation of Desmodus rotundus Geoffroy, 1810 (Phyllostomidae, Chiroptera) by Epicrates cenchria (Linnaeus, 1758) (Boidae, Reptilia) in an Ecuadorian Cave

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      Subterranean Biology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Bats are mammals of the Order Chiroptera. They are highly adaptable to several habitats and their ecology makes them vulnerable to predators. Bats are a common prey of snakes, but description of this kind of predation are rare. This study describes the event of predation of an Epicrates cenchria on a Desmodus rotundus, in a cave in Tena, Ecuador. Records of Desmodus rotundus are known from caves just as Epicrates cenchria. Castillo Cave has a total mapped length of 450 meters. The phase of constriction lasted for 10 min 2 s, a duration superior than other studies, due to the size of Desmodus rotundus. The terrestrial locomotion behavior of D. rotundus, makes it an easy target for E. cenchria. The predation event occurred on the floor, a rare case, which has not been described in other events of predation in caves. The cave is located in a disturbed habitat, because it is irrigated by wastewaters. But both species seems to be adapted to the environment. This study confirms that predation of bats in caves by snakes does occur.

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          Old world fruit bats: an action plan for their conservation

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            Desmodus rotundus

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              Terrestrial locomotion of the New Zealand short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata and the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus.

              Bats (Chiroptera) are generally awkward crawlers, but the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the New Zealand short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata) have independently evolved the ability to manoeuvre well on the ground. In this study we describe the kinematics of locomotion in both species, and the kinetics of locomotion in M. tuberculata. We sought to determine whether these bats move terrestrially the way other quadrupeds do, or whether they possess altogether different patterns of movement on the ground than are observed in quadrupeds that do not fly. Using high-speed video analyses of bats moving on a treadmill, we observed that both species possess symmetrical lateral-sequence gaits similar to the kinematically defined walks of a broad range of tetrapods. At high speeds, D. rotundus use an asymmetrical bounding gait that appears to converge on the bounding gaits of small terrestrial mammals, but with the roles of the forelimbs and hindlimbs reversed. This gait was not performed by M. tuberculata. Many animals that possess a single kinematic gait shift with increasing speed from a kinetic walk (where kinetic and potential energy of the centre of mass oscillate out of phase from each other) to a kinetic run (where they oscillate in phase). To determine whether the single kinematic gait of M. tuberculata meets the kinetic definition of a walk, a run, or a gait that functions as a walk at low speed and a run at high speed, we used force plates and high-speed video recordings to characterize the energetics of the centre of mass in that species. Although oscillations in kinetic and potential energy were of similar magnitudes, M. tuberculata did not use pendulum-like exchanges of energy between them to the extent that many other quadrupedal animals do, and did not transition from a kinetic walk to kinetic run with increasing speed. The gait of M. tuberculata is kinematically a walk, but kinetically run-like at all speeds.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Subterranean Biology
                SB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2615
                1768-1448
                September 20 2016
                September 20 2016
                : 19
                : 41-50
                Article
                10.3897/subtbiol.19.8731
                © 2016

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