Patterns of social call use and direction by Eptesicus fuscus in a competitive context

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Hanging bats

    I intend to search for associations between behavioral contexts and social calls by training big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) to catch mealworms tethered on a string while in flight. The bats will then compete for mealworms, and their social calls and movements during these trials will be recorded with high-speed infrared cameras and ultrasound microphones. I am interested in the effect of sex on the use and direction (i.e. to whom the calls are directed) of different types of social calls and behaviors observed in these trials, as well as the density of mealworms available (as a proxy for competition level). This summer I will train 4 male bats to add to the 4 female bats I trained last summer, as this will enable me to run all possible sex combinations (male-male, male-female, and female-female), and collect data for this experiment.