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Is The ‘Sucker Foot’ Of Myzopoda Aurita A Kind Of Adaptation That Enhances Their Survivorship?

893 words - 4 pages

Introduction

The Myzopoda aurita is one of the bat species that can adherent themselves to vertical spheres, such as smooth leaves. By Thewissen and Etnier (1995), with these particular pads, they can roost inside the rolled leaves of palm trees, which is an efficient way to avoid being detected by their predators. In other words, the ‘sucker foot’ is then an important organ in improving its survivorship.

There are in total six species of bats that have this kind of ability, which can be divided into two families. One family occurs in the neotropics and the other in Madagascar (Riskin & Racey 2009). The Myzopoda aurita, is in the second family living in the Madagascar. As these species of bats undergo this convergent adaptation, we can conclude that the ‘sucker foot’ must be a significant trait that improves their fitness.

Although the Myzopoda aurita, together with other adhesive bats, is well discussed about the pad function and attachment methods, there are really no research journals to exam the fitness benefits they gain from this specific organ. This incur the importance to discuss this aspect of the Myzopoda aurita.

Hypothesis

HA : The ability of attaching to leaves when roosting has an effect on the survivorship of Myzopoda aurita.

H0 : The ability of attaching to leaves when roosting doe not have an effect on the survivorship of Myzopoda aurita.

Methods

The independent variable is the existence of the adhesive ability. As well proved in Thewissen and Etnier (1995), the Myzopoda attach the smooth surface by glueing (wet adhesion), rather than suction. Because of this, I am able to control their adhesion by isolate the secreta from their pad glands from the surface. For instance, I will use plastic wrap to cover their pads (Better material is to be examined in real experiment). Therefore, I can divide the Myzopoda aurita with the same age and health condition into two groups. Group A: Myzopoda aurita is uncontrolled about their pads. Group B: the pads of Myzopoda aurita are covered by plastic wrap or other materials.

The dependent variable is the survivorship of these two groups of Myzopoda aurita. It will be measured by marked-recapture method. I will collect the data of the proportion of marked Myzopoda aurita in each group. This data collection work should be conducted over a long period, and recapture should be repeated to get average data. The length of data collection time and the frequency of recapture will be determinate in the real experiment.

I will conduct this experiment in Madagascar, to provide them the natural habitat and predation condition. Also, the plastic wrap should be transparent and light...

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