, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 13-22
Date: 05 Nov 2010

Postnatal development of morphological features and vocalization in the pomona leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros pomona

Abstract

Based on mark-recapture data, we studied the postnatal development of morphological features and vocalization of the pomona leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros pomona). Morphological changes indicated that body mass and length of forearm followed a linear pattern of growth until 13 days of age at mean growth rates of 0.14 g/day and 1.08 mm/day, respectively, and thereafter, growth rates slowed. The length of the total epiphyseal gap of the fourth metacarpal–phalangeal joint showed a linear increase for up to 10 days, followed by a linear decrease until day 40 at a mean rate of 0.09 mm/day. Together, two equations permitted estimation of the age of H. pomona pups between 1 and 40 days. The logistic equation provided the best fit to the empirical curves for body mass and length of forearm. Studies of vocal development showed that the precursors of echolocation calls were not emitted until day 7 after birth. As the pups grew, the dominant frequency (DF) of isolation calls increased and number of harmonics (NH) decreased, whereas the duration remained relatively stable. The DF and BFM2 (the bandwidth of the terminal frequency-modulated sweep from the second harmonic) of the early echolocation calls increased; however, the NH and duration decreased.

Communicated by: Karol Zub