Chimpanzees also form social bonds when sharing food.
It’s unclear whether Egyptian fruit bats exhibit similar traits in the wild, but their relatively long lifespan and social demeanor make them an ideal candidate for future studies.
That begged the question: Why do males allow other individuals and primarily females to literally take food out of their mouths? Yovel's observations revealed that those foraging interactions start many weeks before mating begins.
Over time, the females intensify interactions with specific males before eventually mating with one of them.
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This was our hypothesis, and, indeed, we found that this is the case." There are a variety of potential reasons why animals might be willing to share food. In others, the cost of defending food resources may be too great.
But it's also possible that sharing food sometimes comes with other delayed benefits, including sex. Yovel's team earlier found after watching three captive bat colonies over the course of a year that individuals either collected food for themselves or scrounged it from other individuals.After some time, females would choose which of the many feeding males she wanted to mate with and ultimately produce offspring with him.However, being a “very consistent food collector” did not influence the male bat’s reproductive success.Furthermore, there was almost no overlap between males preferred by each female – females chose their partner based on some sort of individual preference that changed from year to year.In their study, the authors listed off a number of reasons for sharing food, from contributing to the overall fitness of the colony to not being willing to risk fighting a female over food for fear of injury.on May 23, these male Egyptian fruit bats are repaid for their tolerance and generosity with sex. "Namely, females bore pups of the males they most often scrounged food from.