Male Egyptian fruit bats will allow female bats to take food straight from their mouths and scientists believe they know why: the bats are trading food for sex.
A study, published on Thursday in Current Biology, analyzed three bat colonies in captivity for a year, studying their food-scrounging habits.
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“Originally, we wondered: Why do the producers of food allow scroungers to take food from their mouths?
But we found that most of the scroungers are female, and so we considered the possibility that females trade mating for food.
This was our hypothesis, and, indeed, we found that this is the case,” lead author and professor Yossi Yovel of TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences said in a news release.