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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: A Bat's Sexy Sound
2 October 2012 7:01 pm
Male greater sac-winged bats (Saccopteryx bilineata) use one song to attract females and another to defend their territory. They also vocalize to find food, bouncing sound waves off insects as they fly, a behavior known as echolocation. Researchers wondered if those sounds might also communicate social information, the way you can often tell the sex of another person by their voice—even if he or she is just ordering a double tall skim latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup. The scientists caught bats in mist nets, measured their forearms, determined their sex, and put tiny plastic bands on them. Then, they let them go and recorded their calls. The echolocation calls of females were slightly higher and shorter than those of males that lived nearby, even though the bodies of female bats are bigger. Bats from different places sounded different, too, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The researchers also released single male and female bats near a colony where the males had already returned for the day. When a male flew in, the other males barked and sang territorial songs. When it was a female, the males erupted in courtship song.
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