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Odorant choice experiment of Tylonycteris Pachypus

Cite this dataset

Liang, Jie; Yang, Jian; Zhang, Libiao; Chen, Yi (2022). Odorant choice experiment of Tylonycteris Pachypus [Dataset]. Dryad.


Insectivorous bats are mostly amblyope, however, they have very strong echolocation and olfactory systems. They use ultrasonic sounds to avoid pray and to locate food; they use scent alone to discriminate between colony and non-colony-mates, males and females and individuals of different age. Previous studies show that olfactory cues serve an important role in animal close-up recognition, however, there are still many unknowns to be clarified. We designed three main experiments in order to understand the role of olfactory cues in bat social communication. These comprise the pup odorant choice experiment (POC), the colony-mate odorant choice experiment (COC) and the gender odorant choice experiment (GOC) which were all carried out on the lesser flat-headed bat, Tylonycteris pachypus. Our results suggest that olfactory cues play an important role in T. pachypus mother-pup, colony-mate and gender recognition, however, the POC experiment shows that there was no significant difference between a newborn and a weaning pup. In the COC experiment, we found that bats were more attracted to colony-mates except for subadults, whilst in the GOC experiment, female bats were more attracted to female colony-mates. This is the first time that recognition behaviour of bats has been studied in multiple aspects.