Professor David Jacobs, Department of Biological Sciences, UCT

Bats offer opportunities to study themes of evolutionary biology such as competition, predation, sensory ecology and social interactions. The combination of flight and echolocation has allowed bats to invade every terrestrial habitat, diversifying their form and behaviour leading to an elaboration of the basic mammalian body plan across more than a thousand species. A plethora of idiosyncratic adaptations make bats the most ecologically diverse mammals. This course will explore evolution and bat biology in the hope of exposing both evolutionary adaptation and the creatures that have resulted from this adaptation. The first lecture is an introduction to bat biology and important themes of evolutionary biology. The second discusses the manifestation of competition and predation in bat biology. In the process frequently asked questions about bats will be answered.



1. The idiosyncratic adaptations of bats

2. To seek or speak? Echolocation, competition and evolutionary arms races


Recommended reading 

Jacobs, D.S. 2016. Evolution’s Chimera: Bats and the Marvel of Evolutionary Adaptation. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.

Jacobs, D.S. and Bastian, A. 2016. Predator-prey Interactions; Co-evolution between Bats and their Prey. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Press.



Date: Thursday 17 – Friday 18 January 
Time: 5.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R220,00  Staff and Students R110,00
Venue: Classroom 2A Kramer Law Building UCT