Monday, 10 April 2017

For horseshoe bats, wiggling ears and nose makes biosonar more informative

Date:  April 6, 2017
Source: Virginia Tech
Humans, and most other mammals, have just four muscles joining their ears to their head. Bats have more than 20, and they use them to execute a precise series of wiggles, swivels, and twitches.

"In one-tenth of a second, three times as fast as you can blink your eyes, the bats can change the shape of their ears," said Rolf Mueller, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech.

Mueller is the lead author of a new study, published in Physical Review Letters, demonstrating that these quick, precise movements underlie the bats' ability to wend their way through their world.

Bat echolocation is one of nature's remarkable achievements in navigation.


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