Social distancing in nature

Forager ants do it, vampire bats do it, guppies do it, and mandrills do it. Long before humans learned about and started "social distancing due to COVID-19," animals in nature intuitively practiced social distancing when ...

Baby vampire bat adopted by mom's best friend

During a study with captive vampire bats at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, a young vampire bat pup was adopted by an unrelated female after its mother died. Although this observation was not ...

Scientists learn how vampire bat strangers make friends

We humans can explain how our relationships with college roommates and co-workers have formed over the years, but scientists haven't had a good grip on how friendly connections among strangers are made between animals—until ...

Even fake illness affects relationships among vampire bats

As Italy urges tourists not to cancel their plans in the face of the coronavirus outbreak and a National Basketball Association memo reportedly encourages teammates to avoid hi-fives, a new study conducted at the Smithsonian ...

Vampire bats give a little help to their 'friends'

Vampire bats could be said to be sort of like people—not because of their blood-sucking ways, but because they help their neighbors in need even if it's of no obvious benefit to them.

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