Bat research in Panama

This video says about itself:

30 May 2010

“Bat Women of Panama” showcases a small group of female scientists who use reason, technology and even creativity to reveal the many mysteries of Central America’s amazing bats.

Set on the small island of Barro Colorado, in the Panama Canal, this film follows five research biologists through wet tropical forests as they encounter a variety of bat species with surprising physical and behavioral adaptations. Stunning scenes, fascinating biological wonders and the playful wit of the film narrator will keep students engaged as they learn about one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures.

From in the USA:

A Night in the Forest Capturing Bats

Our intrepid reporter joins tropical bat researchers in the field one night and gains some appreciation for their fangs

By Paul Bisceglio

January 30, 2014 2:00PM

Stefan Brändel lives on a big island in the middle of the Panama Canal and spends his nights catching bats. Part of a small group of German scientists studying disease transmission in tropical forests, he hikes deep into the island’s thick vegetation three to four evenings each week to collect data by snaring the creatures in long nets secured between trees. The work lasts until early morning, but Brändel, a doctoral student at the University of Ulm, is indefatigable—he really likes bats.

“I love diversity, and bats are a super diverse group of mammals, with a few thousand species worldwide, and 74 here on this island in the neotropics,” he told me a few months ago, when I visited the island, named Barro Colorado, to see one of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center‘s research outposts, a cluster of labs and dorms on the forest’s edge where he stays with other scientists throughout the year to study the island’s protected flora and fauna.

“And they are cool animals,” he added. “That’s the most convincing part.” …

The data collection took about two hours. After processesing each bat, Brändel unpinched their wings to let them go. The final one he studied was a rare catch: Phylloderma stenops, known as the “pale-faced bat.” Its tan fur and pointed, ridgy ears were indeed attractive. Tschapka joined Brändel and Hiller to say goodbye to the creature, and they gently passed it around, each holding its puggish face close to his own for one last inspection. When they released it, the bat disappeared shrieking into the forest.

Baby birds learn to fly. Baby mammals switch from milk to solid food. Baby bats, as winged mammals, do both at the same time during their transition from infants to flying juveniles. According to a new report from researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) who studied Peters’ tent-making bats (Uroderma bilobatum), mothers prod their young with their forearms, perhaps encouraging them to fledge and wean: here.

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3 thoughts on “Bat research in Panama

  1. Pingback: New bat species discovered in Comoros | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Two new bee species discovered in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Bats at Panama bird feeders | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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