Wing temperature in flying bats measured by infrared thermography

W C Lancaster, C Thomson, John Roger Speakman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


1. We collected data on the wing temperature of flying bats using infrared thermal imaging to assess the thermoregulatory function of wing membranes.

2. Thermographic images of two Egyptian Fruit Bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus were captured as they flew along a 12 m length of corridor.

3. Body temperature was measured before the first flight and immediately after flight sequences using a rectal thermister probe.

4. Temperatures across the wing ranged from 34 degrees C near the forearm muscle mass, to less than 24 degrees C at the trailing edge (mean ambient temperature 23 degrees C). The majority of the wing was 1-2 degrees C above ambient temperature.

5. We found small, but significant changes in body temperature during flight. These changes did not correlate with changes in wing temperature. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997


  • bat
  • flight
  • thermoregulation
  • infrared thermography
  • flight physiology
  • pulse emission
  • pigeon
  • pteropodidae
  • echolocation
  • tunnel
  • rates
  • power


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