The main focus of my research is the frog-eating bat, Trachops cirrhosus. At night, male frogs make advertisement calls to attract mates. The frog-eating bat eavesdrops on these advertisement calls, and uses them to detect, locate and assess its prey. Just by listening to a frog’s call, the bats can distinguish palatable from poisonous prey, and prey that are too large to eat from prey that are the right size. Studies in my lab investigate the bats’ learning abilities: how they come to associate particular frog calls with expected prey quality, how these associations can be passed from bat to bat via social learning, and how flexible bats are in responding to novel prey cues. We also study the frogs – we are interested in how predation pressure from the bats shapes frog calling behavior.
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