Navigation Links
Keeping an ear out for kin
Date:5/19/2010

Bats can distinguish between the calls of their own and different species with their echolocation calls, report scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen. This applies even for species closely related and ecologically similar with overlap of call frequency bands (The American Naturalist online, May 11th 2010).

As opposed to bird song or the human voice, echolocation calls are primarily used for spatial orientation and search for food and not for communication. Bat species with similar ecological requirements use similar echolocation calls. However, it was recently shown that bats are able to distinguish conspecifics by their individual calls, somewhat similar to how humans can recognize others by voice.

Now, Maike Schuchmann and Bjrn Siemers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have been able to prove that echolocation calls carry more information than assumed. As humans are able to recognize different languages, bats can not only distinguish their own calls from calls of other species, but also differentiate between different species, even if there is an overlap in the call frequency bands.

The scientists set up behavioural experiments with two horseshoe bat species in Bulgaria. They played echolocation calls of the bats' own species or calls of three different species through ultrasonic loudspeakers and analysed the animals' reaction. Both bat species hardly made a mistake in their distinction, neither between own and foreign calls nor foreign and foreign calls. "Discrimination was however easier for the bats when the call frequency bands were clearly separated from their own", says Maike Schuchmann, first author of the study.

This result is exciting but immediately opens up new questions: "Follow-up experiments are necessary to test whether the bats indeed use their ability for acoustic species discrimination in the wild", says Bjrn Siemers. It could be an advantage for the bats to get out of the way of competitively superior species in their hunting grounds. On the other hand, following a heterospecific with the same roosting requirements may be beneficial for finding new shelters. Research in that direction can deepen our understanding of the sensory and cognitive basis of species interactions on a community level.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bjoern Siemers
siemers@orn.mpg.de
49-815-793-2348
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Keeping the weight off after a very low-energy diet
2. Time-keeping brain neurons discovered
3. Eating right, not supplements, is best at keeping your good bacteria healthy, dietitian says
4. Keeping DNA all in the family
5. Study: Young Arctic muskoxen better at keeping warm than scientists thought
6. Study on keeping nuclear bombs from US ports shows misplaced fear over cargo scanning cost
7. Keeping golf courses green when fresh water is limited
8. Researchers unzip molecules to measure interactions keeping DNA packed in cells
9. Wistar scientists find key to keeping killer T cells in prime shape for fighting infection, cancer
10. Keeping chromosomes from cuddling up
11. A second career for a growth factor receptor: keeping nerve axons on target
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Keeping an ear out for kin
(Date:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2017)... , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... and educational conference of the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College ... in Houston. The conference reinforces AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical laboratory services ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... The University City Science Center is ... for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner academic and research ... now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program for the ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, ... has doubled in size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses ... joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... Cognition Corporation ... has just released version 9.0 of the Cognition Cockpit platform. , “Our whole ... says David Cronin, CEO of Cognition. “We’re thrilled to finally be able to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: