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'Fast food' eating bats have less healthy guts

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Pallas's long-tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina), feeding on nectar from banana trees in Costa Rica Nectar-feeding bats have a diverse diet and a diverse gut microbiome too. When these bats get an easy and quick supply of food, in their case banana plantations, they take to this 'fast-food' since it is reliable. Just like humans, how this food is grown determines the nature of their gut microbiome, says a recently published study   The researchers collected fecal samples from bats that had foraged for an hour after sunset in intensive banana plantations, organic plantations as well as from bats feeding in their natural habitat. They used DNA sequencing to determine which bacterial groups were present, absent, more common , or they were linked to a specific habitat. They also measured the bat’s body condition, which included their size and weight. Bats feeding in plantations also had higher body mass and size, a result of the ready availability of food. While bats in natural