Vampire Bats Do Not Abandon Their Sick Children

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Vampire bats, a highly social species, will continue interacting with each other even when they're feeling sick. (Josh More)

When Illness Strikes, Vampire Bat Moms Will Still Socialize With Their Kids

by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com

Infections don’t just wreak havoc on the body: They put a serious damper on social lives, too. But for every casual coffee date or game night lost to the misery of malady, there’s usually a close friend or family member who’s willing to stick by their loved ones through even the worst illnesses—germs and all.

This heartwarming trope, long known to be true in humans, may dictate infectious interactions between vampire bats, too, new research shows. When these bitty blood-sippers are feeling under the weather, they still cozy up to the closest of kin to exchange food and groom each other—even after they’ve stopped extending some of those same courtesies to casual acquaintances.

The findings, published recently in the Journal of Animal Ecology, do more than offer a stirring glimpse into the enduring bonds between vampire bats, who stick together in sickness and in health. By examining how illness alters social behaviors, they could also reveal how infectious diseases ripple through close-knit populations—and which individuals might play the biggest roles in passing pathogens along.

Faced with the threat of disease, “some relationships will be stronger than others,” says study author Gerald Carter, a behavioral ecologist ….read more:

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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