Navigation Links
Mystery of bat with an extraordinary nose solved
Date:7/7/2009

Blacksburg, Va. A research paper co-written by a Virginia Tech faculty member explains a 60-year mystery behind a rare bat's nose that is unusually large for its species. The findings soon will be published in the scientific trade journal, Physical Review Letters.

The article, "Acoustic effects accurately predict an extreme case of biological morphology," by Z. Zhang, R. Mller, and S.N. Truong, details the adult Bourret's horseshoe bat (known scientifically as the "Rhinolophus paradoxolophus," meaning paradoxical crest), and it's roughly 9 millimeters in length nose. The typical horseshoe bat's nose is half that long, said Rolf Mueller, an associate professor with the Virginia Tech mechanical engineering department and director for the Bio-inspired Technology (BIT) Laboratory in Danville, Va. "This nose is so much larger than anything else," among other bats of the region, he said.

Mueller's findings show that the bat uses its elongated nose to create a highly focused sonar beam. Bats detect their environment through ultrasonic beams, or sonar, emitted from their mouths -- or noses, as in the case of the paradoxolophus bat. The echoes of the sound wave convey a wealth of information on objects in the bat's environment. This bat from the remote rainforests of South East Asia received its name 58 years ago because of its mysterious trait.

Much like a flashlight with an adjuster that can create an intense but small beam of light, the bat's nose can create a small but intense sonar beam. Mueller and his team used computer animation to compare varying sizes of bat noses, from small noses on other bats to the large nose of the paradoxolophus bat. In what Mueller calls a perfect mark of evolution, he says his computer modeling shows the length of the paradoxolophus bat's nose stops at the exact point the sonar beam's focal point would become ineffective.

"By predicting the width of the ultrasonic beam for each of these nose lengths with a computational method, we found that the natural nose length has a special value: All shortened noses provided less focus of the ultrasonic beam, whereas artificially elongated noses provided only negligible additional benefits," Mueller said. "Hence, this unusual case of a biological shape can be predicted accurately from its physical function alone."

The findings with the paradoxolophus bat are part of a larger study of approximately 120 different bat species and how they use sonar to perceive their environment. Set to finish in February 2010, it is hoped the study's focus on wave-based sensing and communication in bats will help spur groundwork for innovations in cell phone and satellite communications, as well as naval surveillance technology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Mackay
smackay@vt.edu
540-231-4787
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Harvard scientists solve mystery about why HIV patients are more susceptible to TB infection
2. Scientists tackle the mystery of white-nose syndrome in bats
3. Scientists unravel the mystery of white-nose syndrome
4. Research team wins funds to unravel a DNA mystery
5. Genetic sleuth solves glaucoma mystery
6. Life secret exposed: Scientists unlock mystery of molecular machine
7. Biologists solve mystery of black wolves
8. Fishdunnit! Mystery solved
9. Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery
10. Peering inside the skull of a mouse to solve meningitis mystery
11. MIT researchers explain mystery of gravity fingers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mystery of bat with an extraordinary nose solved
(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)... April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell ... Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into ... data, the first application of deep learning to create ... cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. ... these and future publicly available resources created and shared ...
(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:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the ... Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects from around the ... Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The AMA is happy to announce ... from across the nation. The scholarships are created through funds donated by model aviation ... criteria are set by the AMA Scholarship Committee, which is made up of model ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 ... ... University Virtual Event , this new webinar will explore challenging patient cases when ... admitted to the hospital, there may be a need for bridging parental anticoagulation ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , ... sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce Holger Braemer as Vice ... “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , Braemer is an integral part of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: