Notices
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Differences between bats and birds

  1. #1 Differences between bats and birds 
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,667
    I have observed some of the differences between the behaviour of bats, and that of birds. Where birds sit on branches, bats hang underneath it. A bat can sit on top of a branch, but it doesn't do this because of added balance difficulties. But the real question would be, why birds try their best to sit on top of a branch, while they could just hang underneath it.

    As far as i know, a bird would have no disadvantages from this behaviour, and would need less balancing. Thus it would be able to do more, with less energy.

    A bat can not fly up side down, neiter can a bird, though a bat can sit on top, or hang under a branch, easily. While a bird will try to keep balance on top.

    This would mainly be the case for small birds, obviously. Why is there no species of birds that present this behaviour.. Something to do with digestive system?


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    3,414
    Two thought's occur here, though how correct they might be is any one's guess, firstly that bats use echolocation to give them a picture of their enviroment so they are not as reliant in needing a good field of vision in order to feel safe, where as birds are far more reliant on hearing and sight. This would mean that it's easier to survey the enviroment from on top of the branch rather than from hanging under it.

    Thought number two is that birds find it easier to balance on top of the branch because of the way their wings fold and are not so subject to the stresses of gravity that would effect them much more when hanging upside down.


    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,271
    Birds have, in gross general terms, the wrong anatomy and morphology or it. They have very very keen sense of balance, so why should they hang, it imparts no benefits to them
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    The order of birds that sit on branches most is the Passerines. They have a built in mechanism for gripping the branch. If they slip forwards or back, tendons increase the grip of claws around the branch. This happens automatically without extra energy expenditure. So they sit on branches very securely without wasting energy. A bat cannot do that.
    Passerine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    There's no reason to assume that someday a bird might not evolve to hang from a branch instead of perch. But it would appear as though there were no biological imperatives which caused them to do so. Given that there is ample space in a tree to sit, they had no reason to hang. In addition, it probably disguises them from predators better to sit on top of branches rather than hang like brightly colored fruit.

    Bats seem to have evolved the hanging technique to deal with life in caves where there is no surface upon which to sit except the cave floor and perhaps the random ledge or outcropping. It just made more sense for them to maximize their living space by hanging from the ceiling.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    And there's reproduction to consider. Baby bats cling to their mothers after being live born and can suckle no matter which way up mum happens to be hanging from the ceiling. Birds have to have a safe place for eggs to be laid and to be hatched. Nestling birds have to fight each other to get their heads up for the first, best serves of food from both parents.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,667
    Well, i get how evolution went the way it does, it just seems weird that all bats hang upside down, and all birds sit on top. I mean there is such an diversity among birds that one would assume there should at least be one species that hangs, or can, an sometimes will hang from under a branch.

    I have read into this (some opinions, etc, nothing sourced), and i think it's because of their ancestry. As birds have evolved from a predator dinosaur, like the raptor, and they would have no use for upside down navigation. But the ancestry for bats are tunneling mammals, and they would have been upside down in their tunnel at some times. Maybe this is what drove eiter in their direction. A birds head even rotates whenever the actual flying bird makes an upside down air acrobatic. So maybe a bird's brain is actually 2 dimensional (even though they fly), and a bat flies 3 dimensional..

    Any thoughts about this?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    Any thoughts about this?
    Well. What thoughts do you have about egg laying, sitting, hatching and feeding the young. If birds were to hang upside down for sleeping, that still wouldn't solve the reproduction problems. (We know that some small birds make hanging nests, but the process is much the same as all others from that point on. )
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,444
    Also, birds have a need to keep their feathers in proper alignment for flight at a moment's notice. A chicken held upside down looks like it takes an effect to keep its feathers in proper order (if at all possible), and rain probably makes the problem much worse by getting in between the feathers and soaking them.

    Bats can live in sheltered/darkened locations because of their echolocation abilities, and the shelter negates most concerns about having to take flight in an emergency and about getting soaked by rain while hanging upside down (besides, they don't have any feathers).

    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    Unless you can think of a valid reason why a bird which can hang upside down on a branch would survive more successfully than a bird which perches, I think you have your answer.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Two Bats and Switching Their Heads
    By korben in forum Biology
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 20th, 2010, 11:20 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 23rd, 2009, 01:34 PM
  3. Birds in the park
    By organic god in forum Biology
    Replies: 86
    Last Post: March 14th, 2009, 11:40 AM
  4. Banning aluminum bats in youth baseball
    By starlight in forum Environmental Issues
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: May 10th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  5. A birds tail
    By Metatron in forum Biology
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: October 16th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •