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Tuesday, December 6 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Parturition in Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fuscus)

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This project examined parturition behavior in a maternity colony of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) in western North Carolina. The colony roosted between the outer slats and inner screen of an attic window, which provided a 2-dimensional surface upon which the bats roosted and enabled non-invasive video recording of behavior. Births occurred the first week of June. Females in labor often spaced themselves apart from the main aggregate of the colony. In the preparatory phase of parturition, bats rotated to hang inverted (by the thumbs) so the pup would be caught in the uropatagium. A significant period of obvious, strong contractions preceded expulsion of the pups. Characteristic of vespertillionids, presentation was breech (feet-first). There was a long and apparently difficult period between initial appearance of the feet of the pup and its final delivery. Females regularly licked themselves and occasionally pulled at the pup to facilitate delivery. Females in labor also often interacted with other females, both in aggressive encounters and in interactions that may suggest midwife-like behavior. Both twin (most commonly), single births and one instance of triplets were observed. Cleaning of the newborn and attachment to the teat followed expulsion. Time spent in all phases of parturition was highly variable


Tuesday December 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:20pm PST
038 Karpen Hall