(2010) is R2=0.66 and in Herrel et al. (2008) is R2=0.75. These correlations are highly significant, but we felt there was room for improvement. All the models we built are put through a model-selection procedure using the AIC method (Burnham & Anderson, 2002). Conceptually the simplest model we have is based on body size. When there are large differences in body size among species in a study, body size might be expected to be a fair predictor of bite force. For example in this study bats range in size from 4 to 90 g, and the R2 of body mass and bite force is about 0.75 (results below). Therefore almost any morphological measurement AZD6738 ic50 from these bats
will have high correlation with bite force because most measurements are size related. Size is clearly an important eco-morphological variable and was one of the first used (Hutchinson,
1959), however it does not give insights into the interesting variation in the diverse shapes of skulls seen in bats (Freeman, 1984, 1998, 2000). Finally, we wished to compare our method of measuring bite force with the approach used by Aguirre et al. (2002). Although the details of the sensors we each used are different, both methods involve a Selumetinib cost captive bat biting a sensor. However, our previous work with rodents impressed us that obtaining bites from animals is not always easy. Because of problems associated with maximal performance (see Anderson, McBrayer & Herrel, 2008), we were curious selleck chemicals how results from Aguirre et al. (2002) would compare with ours. Our bite force detector has two components, a piezo-resistive sensor and an electronic device to track changes in the resistance of the sensor (description in Freeman & Lemen, 2008b). The one-plate sensor itself is a strip of thin plastic 10 mm wide, 150 mm long, and only 0.2 mm thick. We used a variety of coverings to protect the thin sensors from being penetrated by teeth. For smaller bats (<6 g)
we used a layer of liquid plastic. For larger species we added thin (0.25 mm) stainless-steel disks under the liquid plastic to protect the top and bottom surfaces. Because of the design of our bite force sensor, we could not easily control gape angle as other authors have (Dumont & Herrel, 2003). The thickness of the sensors used on smaller bats (<9 g) was about 1.4 mm and on larger species about 2.2 mm. The gape angle would be a function of this thickness, canine length and jaw length. However because of the relative thinness of the sensor, gape angles were relatively low. Each sensor was calibrated separately to determine the relationship between applied force in newtons and conductance. With the possibility of damage to the sensor with each bite, we continually calibrated with a hand-held force device (Chatillion force gauge to 10 N) as measurements were taken in the field. We always took bite force so that both canines make contact with the sensor at the same time.