Bats that live in carnivorous plants

Merlin and I will be leaving for the island of Borneo this Friday, flying, waiting in airports or traveling by car for approximately 40 hours to reach our destination in Brunei, one of the three countries that share Asia’s largest island. Our hosts, Caroline and Michael Schoner, have generously invited us to photograph one of the world’s most fascinating bat-plant relationships, the subject of their doctoral theses. We will be photographing Hardwicke’s woolly bat (Kerivoula hardwickii) roosting in carnivorous pitcher plants (Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata) growing in peat swamps. These plants provide roosting space in exchange for receiving nitrogen from the bat’s feces.

We’ll be working with Caroline and Michael August 10-31 in an exceptionally challenging project, faced with a 13-hour time change, photographing some of the world’s smallest mammals (weighing just 2.5-4 gms) in flooded swamplands. Internet access will be limited, but we will do our best to get out at least one or two blogs while still there. Subscribe for our next exciting adventure!

A novel resource–service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants T. Ulmar Grafe, Caroline R. Schöner, Gerald Kerth, Anissa Junaidi, Michael G. Schöner DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1141Published 26 January 2011
A novel resource–service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants
T. Ulmar Grafe, Caroline R. Schöner, Gerald Kerth, Anissa Junaidi, Michael G. Schöner
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1141Published 26 January 2011

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Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.