Midnight's children?: Solitary primates and gregarious chiropterans

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Current Science, Volume 89, Number 7, p.1208–1213 (2005)




Bats, gregarious, nocturnal, primates, social organization, solitary


Some primate species exhibit a solitary social organization. Among several ecological and biological parameters that have been forwarded as correlates of a solitary lifestyle, a nocturnal activity cycle is considered an important determinant. However, several species of megachiropterans, a mammalian group that is completely nocturnal, live in large multimale???multifemale groups. A comparative review of primate and megachiropteran behavioural adaptations shows that megachiropterans do not exhibit the expected correlates of a nocturnal lifestyle. It is suggested that detailed studies of megachiropteran social structures may reveal important pointers to the adaptive bases of a solitary social life.


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