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In the late fall, bats hibernate in clusters with many bats pressed together and holding on to one another. Which of the following supposed advantages of huddling behavior is, in reality, not true?

  1. Any heat generated by any bat is shared by other bats.
  2. Less surface area is exposed to the environment.
  3. Huddling behavior decreases the amount of food needed for bats to stay warm.
  4. In this configuration, less heat is needed for each bat and, therefore, each bat requires less food.
  5. Huddling behavior helps bats stay warm while they feed.
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this looks like a homework question! we don't play that here. – shigeta Aug 21 '13 at 18:33
@shigeta she did actually tag it as homework. – terdon Aug 21 '13 at 19:47
Think about where/when bats huddle, where/how/when they feed. – terdon Aug 21 '13 at 19:50
@biogirl What do you think? What's your reasoning so far? – kmm Aug 21 '13 at 20:06
ok fair enough. still this seems like a hard one to help with. 'one of these things is not like the other' is about all i would say. – shigeta Aug 21 '13 at 21:31
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is basically a trick question and a bit of a cheap shot. All of the reasons cited boil down to "bats huddle to conserve heat", they are basically the same, single, reason.

In order for bats to feed, they need to move, fly out of their cave or wherever they happen to sleep and go forth and look for food. Therefore, they will not be able to huddle while feeding because they will be flying around trying to find fruit or donkeys or whatever each species feeds on. Unless they can figure out a way to huddle while flying, they will not be able to huddle while feeding and so number 5 is wrong.

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