The only flying mammal, the bat represents an inexhaustible source of mysteries for biologists: it lives particularly long, does not develop cancer and has an extraordinary resistance to viral infections.
It is on this last property that CNRS scientists looked in a recent article published in
"It's a very good study that is part of a debate that has been going on for ten years,"
explains Christian Vincenot, professor at the University of Luxembourg, specialist in bats.
Two hypotheses have been competing for several years.
Do bats have a more effective immune system than other mammals?
Or is it a consequence of their flight-adapted metabolism?
In full flight, a bat can indeed reach up to 1000 heartbeats per minute and consume 1200 calories per hour in some species.
This corresponds to an energy expenditure...
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