Current Echolocation News and Events

Current Echolocation News and Events, Echolocation News Articles.
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Under Antarctica's ice, Weddell seals produce ultrasonic vocalizations
Weddell seals are chirping, whistling and trilling under Antarctica's ice at sound frequencies that are inaudible to humans, according to a research team led by University of Oregon biologists. Two years of recordings have captured nine types of tonal ultrasonic seal vocalizations that reach to 50 kilohertz. (2020-12-21)

These masked singers are bats
Bats wear face masks, too. Bat researchers got lucky, observing wrinkle-faced bats in a lek, and copulating, for the first time. (2020-11-11)

Why do bats fly into walls?
Bats sometimes collide with large walls even though they detect these walls with their sonar system. Researchers from Tel Aviv University have concluded that these collisions do not result from a sensory limitation but rather from an error in acoustic perception. (2020-11-09)

Bats can predict the future, JHU researchers discover
They can't tell fortunes and they're useless with the stock market but bats are quite skilled at predicting one thing: where to find dinner. Bats calculate where their prey is headed by building on-the-fly predictive models of target motion from echoes, Johns Hopkins University researchers find. The models are so robust, bats can continue to track prey even when it temporarily vanishes behind echo-blocking obstacles like trees. (2020-11-02)

DNA in fringe-lipped bat poop reveals unexpected eating habits
By examining the poop of the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), a team at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) encountered surprising results about its eating habits and foraging abilities. (2020-10-22)

What did the katydids do when picking up bat sounds?
Ecosystems can be incredibly complex, with many interacting species. In many habitats, predators shape they behavior of prey and prey shape the behavior of predators. This paper provides a detailed look at the predator-prey relationship between bats and katydids, a group of insects related to crickets and grasshoppers. (2020-08-28)

The genetic basis of bats' superpowers revealed
First six reference-quality bat genomes released and analysed (2020-07-23)

When calling loudly, echolocation is costly for small bats
Calling in the ultrasonic range enables small bats to orient themselves in the dark and track down insects. Louder calls travel farther, improving a bat's ability to detect their prey. It was long assumed that echolocation does not contribute much to energy expenditure in flight because individuals couple their calls with the beat of their wings. Scientists at the Leibniz-IZW in Berlin have now shown that high intensity echolocation calls substantially contribute to energy expenditure. (2020-07-13)

A new social role for echolocation in bats that hunt together
To find prey in the dark, bats use echolocation. Some species, like Molossus molossus, may also search within hearing distance of their echolocating group members, sharing information about where food patches are located. Social information encoded in their echolocation calls may facilitate this foraging strategy that allows them to find food faster. (2020-06-19)

Risky business: Courtship movements put katydids in danger
Males signalling their attractiveness to females are at risk from predators that exploit mating signals to detect and locate prey. Signalling, however, is not the only risky activity in sexual interactions: mate searching can incur risk as well. (2020-04-30)

How the brain controls the voice
A particular neuronal circuit in the brains of bats controls their vocalisations. This was recently discovered by biologists at Goethe University Frankfurt. Based on the rhythm with which the circuit oscillated, the Frankfurt researchers were able to predict the kind of sounds the bats were about to make. These research results could contribute to a better understanding of human diseases in which language is impaired such as Parkinson's or Tourette syndrome. (2020-03-20)

Deaf moths evolved noise-cancelling scales to evade prey
Some species of deaf moths can absorb as much as 85 per cent of the incoming sound energy from predatory bats -- who use echolocation to detect them. The findings, published in Royal Society Interface today, reveal the moths, who are unable to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats, have evolved this clever defensive strategy to help it survive. (2020-02-25)

First genetic evidence of resistance in some bats to white-nose syndrome, a devastating fungal disease
A new study from University of Michigan biologists presents the first genetic evidence of resistance in some bats to white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has decimated some North American bat populations. (2020-02-20)

Marine biology: Whales coordinate deep dives to evade predators
Groups of beaked whales reduce predation risk through extreme diving synchronization, according to a study in Scientific Reports. This behavior has not been observed in other deep diving whales and the underlying reasons have remained unclear. (2020-02-06)

Near caves and mines, corrugated pipes may interfere with bat echolocation
Corrugated metal pipes have been installed at cave and mine entrances to help bats access their roosts, but a new study from Brown University researchers suggests that these pipes may actually deter bats. (2020-01-30)

Blind as a bat? The genetic basis of echolocation in bats and whales
Scientists reveal that similar genetic mutations led to the establishment of echolocation in both bats and whales. (2020-01-29)

Tiny insects become 'visible' to bats when they swarm
Small insects that would normally be undetectable to bats using echolocation suddenly become detectable when they occur in large swarms. Arjan Boonman of Tel-Aviv University and colleagues present these findings in PLOS Computational Biology. (2019-12-12)

Bats may benefit from wildfire
Bats face many threats -- from habitat loss and climate change to emerging diseases, such as white-nose syndrome. But it appears that wildfire is not among those threats, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis. (2019-12-05)

Stanford scientists uncover genetic similarities among species that use sound to navigate
Insect-eating bats navigate effortlessly in the dark and dolphins and killer whales gobble up prey in murky waters thanks in part to specific changes in a set of 18 genes involved in the development of the cochlear ganglion -- a group of nerves that transmit sound from the ear to the brain, according to a study by researchers at Stanford University. (2019-10-03)

Bats use private and social information as they hunt
As some of the most savvy and sophisticated predators out there, bats eavesdrop on their prey and even on other bats to collect a wide variety of information as they hunt. (2019-09-24)

Artificial materials reconstruct the porpoise's echolocation
Here, a study proposed a physical directional emission model to bridge the gap between porpoises' biosonar and artificial metamaterial. Inspired by the anatomical and physical properties of the porpoise's biosonar transmission system, researchers fabricated a hybrid metamaterial system composed of multiple composite structures. The metamaterial-based physical model may be helpful to achieve the physical mechanisms of porpoise biosonar detection and has diverse applications in underwater acoustic sensing, ultrasound scanning, and medical ultrasonography. (2019-09-19)

There are way more species of horseshoe bats than scientists thought
Horseshoe bats are bizarre-looking animals with giant ears and elaborate flaps of skin on their noses that they use like satellite dishes. There are about a hundred different species of horseshoe bats -- and that number is only going to grow. By studying the DNA of horseshoe bat specimens in museum collections, scientists have discovered that there are probably a dozen new species of horseshoe bat that haven't been officially described yet. (2019-08-21)

What a group of bizarre-looking bats can tell us about the evolution of mammals
Bats with skulls and teeth adapted to a wide range of diets are helping scientists understand how major groups of mammals first evolved. (2019-08-14)

Bats use leaves as mirrors to find prey in the dark
Bats can find motionless insects on leaves in the dark. This was thought to be impossible, because the acoustic camouflage provided by the leaves should confuse their echolocation system. Inga Geipel and colleagues discovered how bats overcome this problem. (2019-08-01)

Fruit bats can transform echoes into images
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that fruit bats actually integrate vision and echolocation to flourish in the dead of night. (2019-06-26)

What's fair game on the high seas?
Discriminating among sustainably targetable tuna species and protected species that co-mingle near fish-aggregating devices (FADs) in mid-ocean is one of the leading challenges that face tropical tuna fisheries. Recent research has explored a practical approach to adapting commonly used nautical echo-location devices to predict, remotely, the abundance and numerical proportions of various tuna species in these mixed, FAD-centered populations. (2019-06-06)

Echolocation: Making the best of sparse information
New findings reported by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers challenge a generally accepted model of echolocation in bats. They demonstrate that bats require far less spatial information than previously thought to navigate effectively. (2019-05-20)

Dolphin ancestor's hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today's sea creatures
The CT scan revealed cochlear coiling with more turns than in animals with echolocation, indicating hearing more similar to the cloven-hoofed, terrestrial mammals dolphins came from than the sleek sea creatures they are today. (2019-05-14)

Bats evolved diverse skull shapes due to echolocation, diet
Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered that two major forces have shaped bat skulls over their evolutionary history: echolocation and diet. Their findings, published May 2, 2019 in Nature Communications, help explain the wide diversity of skull shapes among bats and reveal the intricate details of how evolutionary pressures can shape animal bodies. (2019-05-02)

Compass orientation of a migratory bat species depends on sunset direction
A team of scientists led by the Leibniz-IZW in Berlin combined a mirror experiment simulating a different direction of the setting sun and a new test procedure to measure orientation behavior in bats to understand the role of the sun's position in the animals' navigation system. The results demonstrate for the first time that a migratory mammal species uses the sunset direction to calibrate their compass system. (2019-04-04)

Batmobile with cruise control
A new study led by scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) investigated the energy requirements and travel speeds of migrating Nathusius' bats (Pipistrellus nathusii). (2019-02-27)

When does noise become a meaningful message?
Background noise is usually regarded as a nuisance that masks important sounds. But noise can convey information about important environmental conditions and allow animals to make informed decisions. When bat researchers played rain sounds for two different species of bats, both species chose to delay emergence from their roosts. (2019-02-06)

Deaf moth evolves sound-production as a warning to outwit its predator
A genus of deaf moth has evolved to develop an extraordinary sound-producing structure in its wings to evade its primary predator the bat. The finding, made by researchers from the University of Bristol and Natural History Museum, is described in Scientific Reports today. (2019-02-05)

Revealing hidden information in sound waves
By essentially turning down the pitch of sound waves, University of Michigan engineering researchers have devised a way to unlock greater amounts of data from acoustic fields than ever before. (2018-11-29)

A bigger nose, a bigger bang: Size matters for ecoholocating toothed whales
A new study sheds light on how toothed whales adapted their sonar abilities to occupy different environments. The study shows that as animals grew bigger, they were able to put more energy into their echolocation sounds -- but surprisingly, the sound energy increased much more than expected. (2018-11-15)

Resonant mechanism discovery could inspire ultra-thin acoustic absorbers
New research led by academics at the University of Bristol has discovered that the scales on moth wings vibrate and can absorb the sound frequencies used by bats for echolocation (biological sonar). The finding could help researchers develop bioinspired thin and lightweight resonant sound absorbers. (2018-11-12)

Bats vs. dolphins -- the ultimate battle of sonar systems
To find ways to improve man-made active sensing, scientists worldwide study the sonar systems of bats and dolphins. During the Acoustical Society of America's 176th Meeting, Nov. 5-9, Laura Kloepper will compare bat and dolphin sonar systems, describing her work on how the two animals cope with acoustic interference. She'll use her findings to argue why bats have the superior system. (2018-11-06)

Research shows pretend porpoise sounds are helping conservation efforts
An examination into the detection of harbour porpoises is helping to give new understanding of effective monitoring of species under threat from anthropogenic activities such as fisheries bycatch and coastal pollution. (2018-10-25)

Just how blind are bats? Color vision gene study examines key sensory tradeoffs
Could bats' cave-dwelling nocturnal habits over eons enhanced their echolocation acoustic abilities, but also spurred their loss of vision? A new study led by Bruno Simões, Emma Teeling and colleagues has examined this question in the evolution of color vision genes across a large and diverse group of bat species. (2018-10-16)

'Robat' uses sound to navigate and map unique environments
Tel Aviv University researchers have invented a 'Robat,' a fully autonomous terrestrial robot with bat-like qualities that uses echolocation to move through novel environments while mapping them based only on sound. (2018-09-06)

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