News Round-Up

For vampire bats, social distancing while sick comes naturally


New research shows that when vampire bats feel sick, they socially distance themselves from group-mates in their roost – no public health guidance required.

The researchers gave wild vampire bats a substance that activated their immune system and made them feel sick for several hours, and then returned the bats to their roost. A control group of bats received a placebo.

Data on the behaviour of these bats was transmitted to scientists by custom-made “backpack” computers that were glued to the animals’ backs, recording the vampire bats’ social encounters. MORE

Header image: Gerald Carter.