Parturition in Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bat Rousettus amplexicaudatus Geoffroy, 1810 (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in the Philippines.

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Ambre E. Delpopolo
Richard E. Sherwin
David L. Waldien
Lindsey C. George


Biologists have an imperfect understanding of the reproductive biology of bats, which is primarily limited to mating systems and development of neonates. Few studies have addressed parturition in bats. Most of these are not contemporary and are based on data obtained from captive animals housed in laboratories. No studies have been conducted to assess the natural parturition process of Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bat Rousettus amplexicaudatus, a Yinpterochiropteran native to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. This study provides the first comprehensive description of parturition in this species. It is based on the natural behaviors exhibited in a wild colony of R. amplexicaudatus in the southern Philippines, which were recorded using high definition video cameras. The qualitative birthing model developed in this study, based on data collected from 16 pregnant females, provides new insights into the reproductive biology of this species. Female R. amplexicaudatus give birth while hanging upside-down. Pups are born in the head-first presentation. Females do not immediately sever the pups’ umbilical cord after birth. Instead, the cord acts as a tether, preventing the pup from falling to its death in the event that it loses its grip on the female. This appears to be an adaptive strategy meant to help overcome some of the challenges associated with giving birth while suspended and hanging upside-down.

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Author Biographies

Ambre E. Delpopolo, Christopher Newport University, Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, Virginia, 23606-3072, USA

Ambre E. Delpopolo is an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Christopher Newport University (CNU). She holds a B.S. in biology (2011) and M.S. in Environmental Science (2014) from CNU. Outside the classroom, her experience includes using radio telemetry to locate bat roosts in the southwestern United States, as well as animal husbandry, and wildlife rehabilitation

Richard E. Sherwin, Christopher Newport University, Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, Virginia, 23606-3072, USA

Richard E. Sherwin holds B.S. (1995) and M.S. (1998) degrees from Brigham Young University and a PhD from the University of New Mexico (2003). He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology at CNU and his research focuses on the applied conservation of mammals.

David L. Waldien, Bat Conservation International, 500 Capital of Texas Highway North, Austin, Texas, 78746-3302, USA

David L. Waldien is Director of International Programs at Bat Conservation International, where he has worked for nearly 10 years. He holds a B.S. in biology from Southern Oregon University. He obtained his M.S. in forest science and PhD in wildlife ecology from Oregon State University.

Lindsey C. George, Christopher Newport University, Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, Virginia, 23606-3072, USA

Lindsey C. George is pursuing her M.S. in environmental science at CNU. She received her B.S. in biology from CNU (2011). Lindsey is a graduate fellow in the WISE GK-12 project where she works with 9th-graders at a local high school, facilitating a greater appreciation for the sciences among her students.


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