Initiating flight directly from the ground by Tadarida brasiliensis (Chiroptera:Molossidae) in Barbacena, state of Minas Gerais, Brasil
Víctor De Knegt, LeonardoHeitor S. da Silva, Márcio
It is generally assumed that Molossids cannot take flight directly from the ground, needing a drop of approximately three meters in order to initiate flight. This is frequently referred as related to their long wingspan, which would prevent them from taking off from the ground. A total of 600 Tadarida brasiliensis were collected from a roof colony and put on on the ground in an Eucaliptus field; success or failure in initiating flight was observed. Most bats (592 or 98.7%) were able to initiate flight directly from the ground, and the rest had success after climbing up to 30cm on a tree trunk. This shows that gaining momentum through free fall in Molossids may be a strategy with other finalities, such as energy saving, rather than a consequence of physical limitations.