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1 December 2007 Maternal feeding of offspring with vertebrate prey in captive Indian false vampire bat, Megaderma lyra
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Abstract

We studied relationships between mother and weaned young of captive Indian false vampire bats, Megaderma lyra. Four out of eight young (Group 1) at 60–63 days of age began to capture freshly killed frogs we pulled with a long thread on the sandy floor of flight room. However, the mothers continued to suckle until their young became 84.7 ± 3.97 (x̄ ± SE) days of age. When the remaining four young (Group 2) were 59.5 ± 1.85 days of age their mothers stopped suckling. Nevertheless, these mothers transferred either entire or partly consumed frogs (bodies with no heads, half bodies, paired hind limbs, and single hind limbs) to their young solicitors. Such food transfers occurred based on the body lengths of frogs. Mothers transferred small frogs entirely, but as the body length of frogs increased, mothers transferred smaller body parts to their young. Audible vocalizations of mothers and young were associated with food transfers. When these young bats became 74.0 ± 2.63 days of age, their mothers stopped food transfers. It appears that lactating females of M. lyra provision offspring by supplementing milk with solid food, similar to what has been observed in other megadermatid bats.

Hanumanthan Raghuram and Ganapathy Marimuthu "Maternal feeding of offspring with vertebrate prey in captive Indian false vampire bat, Megaderma lyra," Acta Chiropterologica 9(2), 437-443, (1 December 2007). https://doi.org/10.3161/1733-5329(2007)9[437:MFOOWV]2.0.CO;2
Received: 6 March 2007; Accepted: 1 July 2007; Published: 1 December 2007
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