They open by discussing cooperation and conflict in animal social structures. Then, they dig into variation in individual food-sharing relationships in bats, and they chat about whether or not vampire bats show reciprocal altruism (and how to go about testing this). After the break, they discuss challenges with the current incentive structures in academia, including potential avenues for improvement.
This week's Two-Minute Takeaway comes from Mena Davidson (@mena_davidson), a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan. They use a rodent model to study how social behavior and pair bonding are affected by changing environmental contexts. Learn more about Mena's work here.
Papers relevant to today's show:
1. Social bet-hedging in vampire bats 2017 Biology Letters
2. Co-option and the evolution of food sharing in vampire bats 2021 Ethology
3. Vampire bats that cooperate in the lab maintain their social networks in the wild 2019 Current Biology
The Animal Behavior Podcast is created by a team of animal behavior researchers and audio professionals. Come meet us here! We receive production support from the Cornell Broadcast studio directed by Bert Odom-Reed, and financial support from the Animal Behavior Society.