9 - Life-history and Reproductive Strategies of Bats


Material Information

9 - Life-history and Reproductive Strategies of Bats
Series Title:
Reproductive Biology of Bats
Racey, Paul A.
Entwistle, Abigail C.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Bats ( local )
Reproductive Strategies Of Bats ( local )
Bat Reproduction ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


The timing and frequency of reproduction are major determinants of life-history strategies, which have evolved to maximize lifetime reproductive output, and thus to maximize fitness in terms of an individual's genetic contribution to the next generation. Bats have distinctive life-history strategies for mammals of their size. Most small animals have evolved a “live fast - die young” strategy, characterized by rapid reproduction and high mortality. In contrast, bats generally have a life history characterized by longevity with multiple reproductive events, low litter size and delayed onset of sexual maturity. Typically a single young is produced, although twins are common in some species. The trend for smaller mammals to generally produce relatively larger young reaches its extreme in bats, in which the neonate may weigh up to 43% of maternal mass. Coupled with one of the lowest mass-specific fetal growth rates recorded within mammals, bats are characterized by long gestation lengths for mammals of their size. This is followed by a relatively long period of lactation and post-natal care. Longer gestation, coupled with a shorter period of lactation, may reflect lower energetic investment per day in gestation, compared to the high costs of lactation, and may represent a strategy by which energetic investment in young is optimized in relation to seasonal food abundance.
Original Version:
Reproductive Biology of Bats, Vol. 2000 (2000-12-01).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.