Flight speed in Brazilian free-tailed bats (data from McCracken et al. 2016)

McCracken G, Safi K, Kunz T, Dechmann DKN, Swartz S, Wikelski M. 2016. Flight speed in Brazilian free-tailed bats (data from McCracken et al. 2016). Movebank Data Repository. https://doi.org/10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1
The performance capabilities of flying animals reflect the interplay of biomechanical and physiological constraints and evolutionary innovation. Of the two extant groups of vertebrates that are capable of powered flight, birds are thought to fly more efficiently and faster than bats. However, fast-flying bat species that are adapted for flight in open airspace are similar in wing shape and appear to be similar in flight dynamics to fast-flying birds that exploit the same aerial niche. Here, we investigate flight behaviour in seven free-flying Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) and report that the maximum ground speeds achieved exceed speeds previously documented for any bat. Regional wind modelling indicates that bats adjusted flight speeds in response to winds by flying more slowly as wind support increased and flying faster when confronted with crosswinds, as demonstrated for insects, birds and other bats. Increased frequency of pauses in wing beats at faster speeds suggests that flap-gliding assists the bats’ rapid flight. Our results suggest that flight performance in bats has been underappreciated and that functional differences in the flight abilities of birds and bats require re-evaluation.
airplane tracking,animal movement,animal tracking,Brazilian free-tailed bats,Env-DATA,flight performance,ground speed,Movebank,North American Regional Reanalysis,radio telemetry,Tadarida brasiliensis,Texas,wind modeling
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Flight speed in Brazilian free-tailed bats (data from McCracken et al. 2016)},
  author = {McCracken, G and Safi, K and Kunz, T and Dechmann, DKN and Swartz, S and Wikelski, M},
  year = {2016},
  URL = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1
T1  - Flight speed in Brazilian free-tailed bats (data from McCracken et al. 2016)
AU  - McCracken, Gary
AU  - Safi, Kamran
AU  - Kunz, Thomas
AU  - Dechmann, Dina K.N.
AU  - Swartz, Sharon
AU  - Wikelski, Martin
Y1  - 2016/10/31
KW  - airplane tracking
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - Brazilian free-tailed bats
KW  - Env-DATA
KW  - flight performance
KW  - ground speed
KW  - Movebank
KW  - North American Regional Reanalysis
KW  - radio telemetry
KW  - Tadarida brasiliensis
KW  - Texas
KW  - wind modeling
KW  - Tadarida brasiliensis
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  - http://dx.doi.org/10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.td71sn54/1
ER  -