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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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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