Data from: Impact of external odor on self-grooming of lesser flat-headed bats, Tylonycteris pachypus
Liang, Jie et al. (2019), Data from: Impact of external odor on self-grooming of lesser flat-headed bats, Tylonycteris pachypus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.67r78cn
Grooming is a common behavior of some mammals. Previous studies have shown that grooming is a means by which animals clean themselves, remove ectoparasites, and lower their body temperature. It is also involved in olfactory communication. Bats belong to the order Chiroptera and, like most mammals, are the natural host of many ectoparasites. Bat grooming, including licking and scratching, is one of the ways to reduce the adverse effects caused by ectoparasites. Bat grooming may also be induced by exogenous odor. In this study, we used lesser flat-headed bats (Tylonycteris pachypus) to test the hypothesis that exogenous odor affects the self-grooming behavior of bats. Results showed that external odor from distantly related species caused lesser flat-headed bats to spend more time in self-grooming. Lesser flat-headed bats that received odor from humans spent the longest time in self-grooming, followed by those that received odor from a different species of bats (T. robustula). Lesser flat-headed bats that received odor form the same species of bats, either from the same or a different colony, spent the least amount of time in self-grooming. These results suggest that bats can recognize their kin through body scent.