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Diet is an important factor influencing the survival and evolution of all species. Many studies have shown that when species evolve from being a predator or insectivore to being a vegetarian, the rate at which new species arise increases. But a new study published in Ecology Letters reveals that omnivorous New World noctilionoid bats, those species with diets including both plant and animal materials, produce more generations in the long run than specialized vegetarian or insectivorous species.
Co-author Liliana Dávalos, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and colleagues examined the rate at which new species arise, as well as the rate of change for diet across the evolutionary history of more than a hundred species of these bats. They found that adding plants to the...
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