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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Flexible Ears Help Bats Tune In
16 November 2011 12:03 pm
Bats navigate by bouncing sounds off of objects (an ability known as echolocation), so perhaps it's no surprise that their ears work a lot like mini-radar dishes. Using a high-speed camera (tracking reflective landmarks on the bat's ear, as seen above) and 3D digital modeling, researchers have shown that bats bend their ears in various directions to listen for the echoes of their ultrasonic calls. Upright ears capture high-quality echoes from objects ahead, while ears bent downward and backward hear echoes from more directions but not as well. Reporting online this week in Physical Review Letters, the team suggests that bats tune their hearing to specific tasks. Bent ears are better for sweeping the area for potential prey, such as moths, or for predators like owls, while upright ears could zero in on prey when bats dive for an attack.
See more ScienceShots.