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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: How Bats Deal With Clutter
29 March 2010 4:34 pm
Bats navigate by bouncing their calls off every object that surrounds them, a behavior known as echolocation. But how do they keep things straight when several of these calls echo back at once? To find out, researchers trained big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) to fly through a dense maze of dangling plastic chains, then suddenly altered the maze path. Recordings from microphones placed on the bats' heads showed that the bats rapidly shifted the pitches of their calls up and down when navigating this new maze, allowing them to discriminate between multiple arriving echoes. It's as if the bats assign acoustic nametags to each call, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings might also apply to other animals who echolocate, such as whales and dolphins, further revealing how these animals' brains make sense of the noisy world around them.