Browsing by Subject "Echolocation"
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- ItemOpen AccessBehavioural evidence for the perception of individual identity and gender via the echolocation calls of a high duty cycle bat, Rhinolophus clivosus(2015) Finger, Nikita Maxine; Jacobs, David S; Bastian, AnnaDifferent cognitive processes underlie the perception of vocalizations in many mammals, including humans. This perception now extends to a highly specialized form of sonar called echolocation. In habituation-dishabituation experiments, a high duty cycle echolocating bat, Rhinolophus clivosus, dishabituated significantly when echolocation calls of a different gender or individual were played to the habituation. Strong individual and gender signatures but weak geographic signatures were found in both the CF and FM components of their echolocation calls. In the individual discrimination trials reactions were more pronounced to an individual that was less acoustically similar to the habituation than to one that was more similar. Bats reacted to playbacks with a variety of social behaviours. Prior to the analysis of the experiment an ethogram was done on three groups of captive R. clivosus bats. This ethogram was used to categorize the behavioural responses of these bats to the acoustic stimuli in the experiments. The reactions to the habituation-dishabituation experiments show bats perceive gender and individual-specific signatures found in their conspecifics echolocation calls. This is the first study to show behavioural evidence for individual discrimination and second to show gender discrimination of echolocation calls in high duty cycle bats. This evidence supports the theory that echolocation, a system thought to have evolved solely for orientation and foraging, has been coopted for intra-specific communication and mate recognition in bats.
- ItemOpen AccessPhenotypic convergence in genetically distinct lineages of a Rhinolophus species complex (Mammalia, Chiroptera)(Public Library of Science, 2013) Jacobs, David S; Babiker, Hassan; Bastian, Anna; Kearney, Teresa; Eeden, Rowen van; Bishop, Jacqueline MPhenotypes of distantly related species may converge through adaptation to similar habitats and/or because they share biological constraints that limit the phenotypic variants produced. A common theme in bats is the sympatric occurrence of cryptic species that are convergent in morphology but divergent in echolocation frequency, suggesting that echolocation may facilitate niche partitioning, reducing competition. If so, allopatric populations freed from competition, could converge in both morphology and echolocation provided they occupy similar niches or share biological constraints. We investigated the evolutionary history of a widely distributed African horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus darlingi , in the context of phenotypic convergence. We used phylogenetic inference to identify and date lineage divergence together with phenotypic comparisons and ecological niche modelling to identify morphological and geographical correlates of those lineages. Our results indicate that R. darlingi is paraphyletic, the eastern and western parts of its distribution forming two distinct non-sister lineages that diverged ~9.7 Mya. We retain R. darlingi for the eastern lineage and argue that the western lineage, currently the sub-species R . d. damarensis , should be elevated to full species status. R. damarensis comprises two lineages that diverged ~5 Mya. Our findings concur with patterns of divergence of other co-distributed taxa which are associated with increased regional aridification between 7-5 Mya suggesting possible vicariant evolution. The morphology and echolocation calls of R. darlingi and R. damarensis are convergent despite occupying different biomes. This suggests that adaptation to similar habitats is not responsible for the convergence. Furthermore, R. darlingi forms part of a clade comprising species that are bigger and echolocate at lower frequencies than R. darlingi , suggesting that biological constraints are unlikely to have influenced the convergence. Instead, the striking similarity in morphology and sensory biology are probably the result of neutral evolutionary processes, resulting in the independent evolution of similar phenotypes.
- ItemOpen AccessThe relative influence of competition and prey defenses on the phenotypic structure of insectivorous bat ensembles in southern Africa(Public Library of Science, 2008) Schoeman, M Corrie; Jacobs, David SDeterministic filters such as competition and prey defences should have a strong influence on the community structure of animals such as insectivorous bats that have life histories characterized by low fecundity, low predation risk, long life expectancy, and stable populations. We investigated the relative influence of these two deterministic filters on the phenotypic structure of insectivorous bat ensembles in southern Africa. We used null models to simulate the random phenotypic patterns expected in the absence of competition or prey defences and analysed the deviations of the observed phenotypic pattern from these expected random patterns. The phenotypic structure at local scales exhibited non-random patterns consistent with both competition and prey defense hypotheses. There was evidence that competition influenced body size distribution across ensembles. Competition also influenced wing and echolocation patterns in ensembles and in functional foraging groups with high species richness or abundance. At the same time, prey defense filters influenced echolocation patterns in two species-poor ensembles. Non-random patterns remained evident even after we removed the influence of body size from wing morphology and echolocation parameters taking phylogeny into account. However, abiotic filters such as geographic distribution ranges of small and large-bodied species, extinction risk, and the physics of flight and sound probably also interacted with biotic filters at local and/or regional scales to influence the community structure of sympatric bats in southern Africa. Future studies should investigate alternative parameters that define bat community structure such as diet and abundance to better determine the influence of competition and prey defences on the structure of insectivorous bat ensembles in southern Africa.
- ItemOpen AccessSensory drive mediated by climatic gradients partially explains divergence in acoustic signals in two horseshoe bat species, Rhinolophus swinnyi and Rhinolophus simulator(Public Library of Science, 2016) Mutumi, Gregory L; Jacobs, David S; Winker, HenningGeographic variation can be an indicator of still poorly understood evolutionary processes such as adaptation and drift. Sensory systems used in communication play a key role in mate choice and species recognition. Habitat-mediated (i.e. adaptive) differences in communication signals may therefore lead to diversification. We investigated geographic variation in echolocation calls of African horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus simulator and R . swinnyi in the context of two adaptive hypotheses: 1) James' Rule and 2) the Sensory Drive Hypothesis. According to James' Rule body-size should vary in response to relative humidity and temperature so that divergence in call frequency may therefore be the result of climate-mediated variation in body size because of the correlation between body size and call frequency. The Sensory Drive Hypothesis proposes that call frequency is a response to climate-induced differences in atmospheric attenuation and predicts that increases in atmospheric attenuation selects for calls of lower frequency. We measured the morphology and resting call frequency (RF) of 111 R . simulator and 126 R . swinnyi individuals across their distributional range to test the above hypotheses. Contrary to the prediction of James' Rule, divergence in body size could not explain the variation in RF. Instead, acoustic divergence in RF was best predicted by latitude, geography and climate-induced differences in atmospheric attenuation, as predicted by the Sensory Drive Hypothesis. Although variation in RF was strongly influenced by temperature and humidity, other climatic variables (associated with latitude and altitude) as well as drift (as suggested by a positive correlation between call variation and geographic distance, especially in R . simulator ) may also play an important role.