Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Greater horseshoe bats keep it in the family

15.09.2005


The notion of sharing your grandmother’s new sexual partner might seem unappealing to us, but a study of wild greater horseshoe bats reveals that female relatives regularly share male mates, yet nearly always avoid their blood relatives.



The study, published in this week’s Nature, was led by Dr Stephen Rossiter as part of a long-term collaboration between scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, and the University of Bristol. The study used genetic analysis to look at breeding patterns over 10 years in a colony of around 40 greater horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, one of Britain’s rarest bats, from Gloucestershire.

The team, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, found that while a female might mate with the same male as her grandmother, she won’t mate with her own grandfather. As you might expect, things quickly get very confusing, for example, the study revealed several cases in which a female and her maternal half-aunt were also half-sisters on their father’s side!


Why might these breeding patterns evolve? “One possibility is that by increasing kinship, sharing sexual partners strengthens social ties and promotes greater levels of cooperation within the colony,” says Dr Rossiter. “In fact, the study also found another way in which these bats strengthen levels of kinship, with most females returning to the same male over many years.”

This work, based on one of the longest-running and most detailed studies of a wild animal population worldwide, illustrates the hidden complexity that can underlie animal mating patterns in natural conditions, and could have important implications for conservation strategies in a range of important mammalian species.

Owen Gaffney | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nerc.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>