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‘Networking’ bats can work together to find food faster, study finds




When we think of animals that work together to hunt prey, we often think of wolves and killer whales.A new study suggests that bats show each other where to find tasty insects, so the common bat could soon be added to that list.

As most people already know, bats can find flying insects in complete darkness by echolocation. More specifically, they emit ultrasonic waves that bounce off the bodies of insects and return to the bat’s large ears, telling them how far away and in which direction those insects are.

The system can spot insects within a range of 10 to 15 meters (33 to 49 feet), according to scientists from Germany’s University of Potsdam and the Leibniz Zoo and Wildlife Institute. bat cannot detect them. That said, bats are considerably larger than insects, so echolocating is possible. each other Up to 160 m (525 ft) distance under ideal conditions.

To see how bats make use of this fact, researchers glued small radio transmitters to the backs of 81 nocturne bats (christmas night). A series of antennas in the bat’s habitat picked up the signals from these transmitters, allowing the scientist to track each animal’s flight patterns a total of five times over three years.

When hunting insects, large groups of bats were found to spread far enough apart to cover the widest possible range while remaining within echolocation range of each other.

If any of those bats encounter a swarm of insects and start chasing them, neighboring bats will be notified by detecting changes in their flight behavior and begin to use them when actually attacking the insects. is notified by a special echolocation call. Those other bats proceed to the location of the first bat and catch some of the insects themselves.

Using computer models, scientists determined that “networking” in this way could reduce the time bats needed to find prey by 40% compared to ignoring other bats. Did. Researchers say that if bats live in small groups or have their own, they may not find enough food, so it’s important to protect communal roosts where many bats live. said.

A paper on this study, led by Dr. Manuel Roeleke of the University of Potsdam, was recently published in the journal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

sauce: Leibniz Zoo Wildlife Institute




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