Diurnal and Seasonal Changes in Blood Composition of the Free-Living Egyptian Fruit Bat (Rousettus Aegyptiacus)

J Comp Physiol B. 1999 Jul;169(4-5):280-6. doi: 10.1007/s003600050222.


We studied the blood profile of the free-living fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) during the beginning of the activity period (around various feeding trees) and upon return to the day roost during 1994-1995. Results of the present study suggest that during winter and early spring bats are characterized by a poor physical and physiological state as reflected in the blood profile, revealing elevated urea and uric acid concentrations. It was found that at the end of the resting phase, R. aegyptiacus was in a mild state of dehydration (increased hematocrit and hemoglobin levels). At the end of activity, upon return to the day roost, both hematocrit and hemoglobin levels decreased but bats still maintained a high plasma osmolality. Several components in the blood are effected by the feeding time and show a cyclic change in concentration. The reverse relationship between glucose and triglyceride levels may indicate that glucose is the energy source during the active phase and that fat is the energy source during the resting period. The low cholesterol level in the blood reflects its absence in the fruit diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / blood*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Eating
  • Egypt
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Israel
  • Seasons


  • Hemoglobins