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Situational and Age-Dependent Decision Making during Life Threatening Distress in Myotis macrodactylus.

Huang X, Kanwal JS, Jiang T, Long Z, Luo B, Yue X, Gu Y, Feng J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: During environmental and predator threat, bats displayed significantly more biting and wing-flapping behaviors and emitted more echolocation pulses than during arrest.We conclude that bats modify their vocal behavior and make age-appropriate and contextually adaptive decisions when distressed.This decision-making ability is consistent with observations in other social species, including humans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and Utilization, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China; Key Laboratory for Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration of National Environmental Protection, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China.

ABSTRACT
Echolocation and audiovocal communication have been studied extensively in bats. The manner in which these abilities are incorporated within escape behaviors during life-threatening distress is largely unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that behavioral response profiles expressed during distress are relatively stereotypic given their evolutionary adaptations to avoid predators. We subjected juvenile and adult big-footed myotis (Myotis macrodactylus) to a sequence of three types of life threatening distress: 1) trapping them in a mist-net (environmental threat), 2) approaching them when trapped (predator threat), and 3) partially restraining their freedom to move (arrest), and recorded their escape behavior in each of the three conditions. Response profiles differed across individuals and with the context in which they were expressed. During environmental and predator threat, bats displayed significantly more biting and wing-flapping behaviors and emitted more echolocation pulses than during arrest. Response profiles also varied with age. During arrest, juveniles were more likely than adults to emit distress calls and vice-versa for biting and wing flapping during environmental and predator threat. Overall, individualized response profiles were classified into ten clusters that were aligned along two divergent response trajectories when viewed within two-dimensional, multifactorial decision space. Juvenile behaviors tended to follow a predominantly "social-dependence" trajectory, whereas adult behaviors were mostly aligned along a "self-reliance" trajectory. We conclude that bats modify their vocal behavior and make age-appropriate and contextually adaptive decisions when distressed. This decision-making ability is consistent with observations in other social species, including humans.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scatterplot of behavioral response profiles of juveniles and adults within two-dimensional canonical space for environmental distress (green dots), predator distress (blue dots) and arrest (red dots).Variable direction rays are placed within the plot. The "+" symbols indicate the location of the multivariate mean. The canonical plot shows the points and multivariate means in the two dimensions that best separate the groups. The size of the inner ellipse corresponds to a 95% CL for the mean. Groups that are significantly different tend to have non-intersecting ellipses, in this case suggesting significant differences among the three life-threatening distressful situations encountered by the bats. The outer ellipses show areas that contain roughly 50% of the points for that group.
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pone.0132817.g005: Scatterplot of behavioral response profiles of juveniles and adults within two-dimensional canonical space for environmental distress (green dots), predator distress (blue dots) and arrest (red dots).Variable direction rays are placed within the plot. The "+" symbols indicate the location of the multivariate mean. The canonical plot shows the points and multivariate means in the two dimensions that best separate the groups. The size of the inner ellipse corresponds to a 95% CL for the mean. Groups that are significantly different tend to have non-intersecting ellipses, in this case suggesting significant differences among the three life-threatening distressful situations encountered by the bats. The outer ellipses show areas that contain roughly 50% of the points for that group.

Mentions: When trapped in a mist net (environmental threat) and during predator approach (predator threat) big-footed myotis showed more frequent biting and wing flapping behavior than during arrest (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5). However, biting propensity was highest during environmental threat, and wing flapping rate was highest during predator threat; these results weren’t significant for juvenile bats (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5). Moreover, bats emitted more echolocation pulses both during environmental and predator threat compared to arrest, especially during environmental threat (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5).


Situational and Age-Dependent Decision Making during Life Threatening Distress in Myotis macrodactylus.

Huang X, Kanwal JS, Jiang T, Long Z, Luo B, Yue X, Gu Y, Feng J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Scatterplot of behavioral response profiles of juveniles and adults within two-dimensional canonical space for environmental distress (green dots), predator distress (blue dots) and arrest (red dots).Variable direction rays are placed within the plot. The "+" symbols indicate the location of the multivariate mean. The canonical plot shows the points and multivariate means in the two dimensions that best separate the groups. The size of the inner ellipse corresponds to a 95% CL for the mean. Groups that are significantly different tend to have non-intersecting ellipses, in this case suggesting significant differences among the three life-threatening distressful situations encountered by the bats. The outer ellipses show areas that contain roughly 50% of the points for that group.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4504719&req=5

pone.0132817.g005: Scatterplot of behavioral response profiles of juveniles and adults within two-dimensional canonical space for environmental distress (green dots), predator distress (blue dots) and arrest (red dots).Variable direction rays are placed within the plot. The "+" symbols indicate the location of the multivariate mean. The canonical plot shows the points and multivariate means in the two dimensions that best separate the groups. The size of the inner ellipse corresponds to a 95% CL for the mean. Groups that are significantly different tend to have non-intersecting ellipses, in this case suggesting significant differences among the three life-threatening distressful situations encountered by the bats. The outer ellipses show areas that contain roughly 50% of the points for that group.
Mentions: When trapped in a mist net (environmental threat) and during predator approach (predator threat) big-footed myotis showed more frequent biting and wing flapping behavior than during arrest (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5). However, biting propensity was highest during environmental threat, and wing flapping rate was highest during predator threat; these results weren’t significant for juvenile bats (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5). Moreover, bats emitted more echolocation pulses both during environmental and predator threat compared to arrest, especially during environmental threat (Tables 1 and 2; Fig 5).

Bottom Line: During environmental and predator threat, bats displayed significantly more biting and wing-flapping behaviors and emitted more echolocation pulses than during arrest.We conclude that bats modify their vocal behavior and make age-appropriate and contextually adaptive decisions when distressed.This decision-making ability is consistent with observations in other social species, including humans.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and Utilization, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China; Key Laboratory for Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration of National Environmental Protection, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China.

ABSTRACT
Echolocation and audiovocal communication have been studied extensively in bats. The manner in which these abilities are incorporated within escape behaviors during life-threatening distress is largely unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that behavioral response profiles expressed during distress are relatively stereotypic given their evolutionary adaptations to avoid predators. We subjected juvenile and adult big-footed myotis (Myotis macrodactylus) to a sequence of three types of life threatening distress: 1) trapping them in a mist-net (environmental threat), 2) approaching them when trapped (predator threat), and 3) partially restraining their freedom to move (arrest), and recorded their escape behavior in each of the three conditions. Response profiles differed across individuals and with the context in which they were expressed. During environmental and predator threat, bats displayed significantly more biting and wing-flapping behaviors and emitted more echolocation pulses than during arrest. Response profiles also varied with age. During arrest, juveniles were more likely than adults to emit distress calls and vice-versa for biting and wing flapping during environmental and predator threat. Overall, individualized response profiles were classified into ten clusters that were aligned along two divergent response trajectories when viewed within two-dimensional, multifactorial decision space. Juvenile behaviors tended to follow a predominantly "social-dependence" trajectory, whereas adult behaviors were mostly aligned along a "self-reliance" trajectory. We conclude that bats modify their vocal behavior and make age-appropriate and contextually adaptive decisions when distressed. This decision-making ability is consistent with observations in other social species, including humans.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus