How Do Bats Use Echolocation?
The eyes of the bats are as good as the vision of human. They are not blind. However, hunting the insects can be difficult since they are mostly active during night time. In order to avoid getting into trouble with a flying predator, the bats have managed to adapt to this kind of lifestyle. To help them locate the foods in the dark, they have developed an amazing high-frequency system known as echolocation. To help you understand how this system works, imagine standing on a canyon and shouting. Moments later, you will hear the same voice returning to you.
Understanding the Echolocation of Bats
The concept behind this unique navigation system is fairly simple. The bats produce a sound by releasing air from their lungs and their vocal chords. It will create vibrations that will result to fluctuations in the air that creates the sound wave. The sound wave refers to the moving fluctuations present in the air pressure. The altering pressure in the air will push the air particles aside before drawing them back again. The process of pushing and pulling the air particles allows the sound to travel to the air. The tone and the pitch will be contingent upon the frequency.
This is basically the concept of echolocation. By releasing the air on their vocal chords, the bats will be able to create the sound. There are bats that release this sound through their mouth. They will keep their mouth open while they are flying and hunting for their prey. Other species can emit sound from their nose. It is not quite understood how these types of bats produce their noise. Experts believe that their unique nose structure has something to do with it. It allows them to focus their sound and improve the accuracy to locate their prey.
Most bats produce a tremendously high pitch. So high that it goes beyond the ability of the human to hear those sound. The sound that they produce acts the same way as the shout of a human. It will travel through the air pressure as a sound wave and that energy will bounce on the objects that it will encounter. The bat will then listen to the echo of the sound that they release. They will process this information, the same way human process information. By analyzing how long it will take for the sound to return, they will be able to determine their distance from the object.
By using echolocation, the bat can also identify the size of the object, the accurate location of the object and their direction in case it is a moving object. If the echo reaches their left ear, first before their right ear then the object is located in their left side. The ear structure of the bat is also consists of complex folds that identifies the position of the object. Depending on the intensity of the echo, the bat will be able to determine the size of the object.
The bats are processing this location and will create an image in their mind which is similar to the image that our mind forms through our visual information. As we mentioned above, they are not blind, they are using echolocation together with their vision.
Read the How to get rid of bats page for helpful information and to learn more about How Do Bats Use Echolocation?
How Do Bats Use Echolocation? -->
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