Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2019/05/190523143014_1_540x360.jpg
As reported in Current Biology on May 23, these male Egyptian fruit bats are repaid for their tolerance and generosity with sex.
"We found a strong relationship between producer-scrounger feeding interactions and reproduction," says lead author Prof. Yossi Yovel of TAU's George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. "Namely, females bore pups of the males they most often scrounged food from. Three to four months before mating, the females start scrounging for food from several males. Then they eventually mate with one of the males, the one with which they forged the strongest bond.
Producers - Food - Allow - Scroungers - Food
"Originally, we wondered: Why do the producers of food allow scroungers to take food from their mouths? Maybe they're stronger? But we found that most of the scroungers are female, and so we considered the possibility that females trade mating for food. This was our hypothesis, and, indeed, we found that this is the case."
There are a variety of potential reasons why animals might be willing to share food. In some cases, food is shared with relatives. In others, the cost of defending food resources may be too great. But it's also possible that sharing food sometimes comes with other delayed benefits, including sex.
Prof - Yovel - Team - Bat - Colonies
Prof. Yovel's team earlier found after watching three captive bat colonies over the course of a year that individuals either...
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