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J Comp Physiol B. 2003 Feb;173(1):43-53. Epub 2003 Jan 18.

Standard energetics of leaf-nosed bats (Hipposideridae): its relationship to intermittent- and protracted-foraging tactics in bats and birds.

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Department of Natural History, National Museum and Art Gallery, Box 5560, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea.


Basal rates of metabolism within the insectivorous genera Hipposideros and Ascelliscus, Old World leaf-nosed bats (Hipposideridae), ranged from 58% to 77% of the mammalian standard. The larger species, Hipposideros diadema and Hipposideros maggietaylori, effectively thermoregulated at ambient temperatures down to 9 degrees C, whereas two smaller species, Hipposideros galeritus and Hipposideros cervinus, occasionally permitted body temperatures to fall below 32 degrees C. The low basal rates of metabolism in hipposiderids correlated with a predatory life-style characterized by intermittent flight from a perch to capture insects, a correlation similar to that found in nonpasserine birds. Intermittent-foraging bats and nonpasserines collectively had basal rates of metabolism that averaged 75% of those that pursue insects during protracted flight. However, no difference in basal rate was found between protracted- and intermittent-foraging passerines, which had basal rates 1.8- and 2.4-times those of protracted-foraging and intermittent-foraging bats and nonpasserines, respectively. Bats, swifts, and caprimulgids that enter torpor have basal rates that are 85% of those of similar species that do not enter torpor. Body mass, order affiliation, foraging mode, and propensity to enter into torpor collectively account for 97% of the variation in basal rate of metabolism in insectivorous bats and birds. Foraging style therefore appears to be a factor contributing to the diversity in endotherm energetics. Minimal thermal conductance in the genus Hipposideros ranged from 75% to 102% of the mammalian standard. Birds have minimal thermal conductances that are 75% of mammals and intermittent foragers have minimal conductances that are 78% of protracted foragers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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