Following predictions of the optimal foraging theory, an animal should exhibit strategies for searching, selecting and handling food, which aim to maximize the difference between the expenditure and gain of energy in each activity. Through the present project I will test if specialist frugivorous bat species of the subfamilies Carolliinae and Stenodermatinae (family Phyllostomidae) optimize their foraging, selecting fruits according to a preference ranking, independently of the availability of each fruit species. To test this hypothesis, I will subject each individual bat to an experiment with two treatments: (1) native fruits in equal abundances, or (2) native fruits in different abundances. In both cases, I will offer native fruits in pairs of species, one considered to be preferred, and the other considered to be secondary, and I will register which was selected first. I will make comparisons between treatments for each bat species, and also compare different species. I expect to observe a selection pattern similar to dietary patterns observed in the wild, meaning that there is in fact a preference by bats, and not only an opportunistic diet.
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