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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


CANALS, MAURICIO; IRIARTE-DIAZ, JOSÉ; OLIVARES, RICARDO  and  NOVOA, F. FERNANDO. Comparison of the wing morphology of Tadarida brasiliensis (Chiroptera: Molossidae) and Myotis chiloensis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) as representatives of two flight patterns. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2001, vol.74, n.3, pp.699-704. ISSN 0716-078X.

Wing morphology is related by one hand to biomechanical properties and energetics of flying, and on the other hand to ecological and behavioral aspects of flying, such as flight pattern, foraging behavior, habitat selection and size of prey. In this work we compare the wing morphology of Tadarida brasiliensis (Molossidae) and Myotis chiloensis (Vespertilionidae), as representatives of two flight patterns, and looking for trade-offs between wing morphology, ecology and behavior. Our results showed that T. brasiliensis is larger and with higher wing span than M. chiloensis, although the wing area does not differ between these bats. The latter species showed a smaller variability in body mass and cortical area of humerus, probably related with mechanic and energetic constraints. Without size effect, there were differences in the external diameter and medullar diameter of humerus, but with a similar cortical area. The humerus of T. brasiliensis is a bone of similar length, wider and with smaller cortical thickness than in M. chiloensis, which is related to a higher resistance to bending and torsional forces. The wing shape found in each bat is in agree with the life mode: slow, short and manoeuvrable flight in wooded zones of M. chiloensis and fast and long distance flight in open areas of T. brasiliensis

Keywords : Tadarida brasiliensis; Myotis chiloensis; wing morphology; flight; biomechanics.

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