Mar 17, 2015

Too hot to sleep? Sleep behaviour and surface body temperature of Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat

PloS One
Colleen T DownsLorinda A Hart


The significance of sleep and factors that affect it have been well documented, however, in light of global climate change the effect of temperature on sleep patterns has only recently gained attention. Unlike many mammals, bats (order: Chiroptera) are nocturnal and little is known about their sleep and the effects of ambient temperature (Ta) on their sleep. Consequently we investigated seasonal temperature effects on sleep behaviour and surface body temperature of free-ranging Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat, Epomophorus wahlbergi, at a tree roost. Sleep behaviours of E. wahlbergi were recorded, including: sleep duration and sleep incidences (i.e. one eye open and both eyes closed). Sleep differed significantly across all the individuals in terms of sleep duration and sleep incidences. Individuals generally spent more time awake than sleeping. The percentage of each day bats spent asleep was significantly higher during winter (27.6%), compared with summer (15.6%). In summer, 20.7% of the sleeping bats used one eye open sleep, and this is possibly the first evidence of one-eye-sleep in non-marine mammals. Sleep duration decreased with extreme heat as bats spent significantly more time trying to cool by licking their fur, spread...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Rickettsia endosymbiont of Dolichopus wahlbergi
Cercopithecus pygerythrus
Epomophorus wahlbergi
Trees (plant)
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Hot Temperature
Eonycteris spelaea
Seasonal Variation
Crowned eagle

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