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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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Pollination by Bats

Pollination by Bats

(p.356) Chapter 16 Pollination by Bats
Pollination and Floral Ecology

Pat Willmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on pollination by bats, or chiropterophily. Bats are classified as two distinct and separately evolved orders, Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera. They are primarily nocturnal, and as flying endothermic mammals have extremely high energy demands. Furthermore, their flower visits often require hovering for short periods; this increases their energy demand further, albeit not by much. However, having rather large body masses, in practice the bat species that visit blossoms for a major part of their diet are linked with some unusual and very high-reward flowers. The chapter first provides an overview of the bat’s feeding apparatus, sensory capacities such as olfaction, and foraging behavior and learning before discussing different types of bat-pollinated flowers.

Keywords:   bat pollination, bats, chiropterophily, Megachiroptera, Microchiroptera, feeding apparatus, olfaction, foraging behavior, learning, flower

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