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Size Makes a Difference in White Nose Syndrome

Go figure, size does matter.

The White Nose syndrome that has been problematic to bats, and is causing some real problems in their survival, can be greatly affected by the size that the bat attains.  The behavior of the bat and the size of the bat means that the disease could hit some a lot harder than others.

 

Read the original article here:

Behavior, body size impact bats’ fight against white-nose syndrome
Small bats, beware.

Whether or not the deadly white-nose syndrome fungal disease hits some bats harder than others could depend on behavior and size, researchers report in the Jan. 29 Science Advances. The disease depletes bats’ winter fat reserves by waking them from hibernation.

David Hayman of Massey University in New Zealand and colleagues modeled how bat hibernation environment and bat energetics relate to white-nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in eastern North America.

The researchers found that big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) are better survivors than little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus)— possibly because big brown bats tend to have more fat stores, lower metabolic rates and drier hibernation sites. Lower fat reserves and humid roosting sites leave little brown bats vulnerable to the white-nose syndrome fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans), the scientists think.

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