- News Home
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
- About Us
ScienceShot: Bats Use Megaphones in Jungle
15 October 2013 7:15 pm
The jungle is a noisy place, but one little animal has found a clever way to be heard. The 4-gram Spix’s disk-winged bat (Thyroptera tricolor) roosts in newly sprouted leaves of tropical plants, using their temporarily curled shape to hide from predators. Flying bats looking for a roost send out high-pitched inquiry calls, while their already-nested friends—like the one in the photo above—emit response calls to invite them in. Now, researchers in Costa Rica have found that the tube-shaped leaves may make both kinds of calls easier for other bats to hear. For a bat issuing response calls from within a roost, the leaf acts like a megaphone, amplifying its invitations by 1 to 2 decibels. The leaves also act like an ear horn; inquiry calls made by airborne bats looking for a roost were up to 10 decibels louder inside the nest than they were outside, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The researchers calculate that such an effect can boost an inquiry call’s range by up to 30 additional meters, helping bats stay together as a group throughout their near-constant house-hunting: Because the leaves quickly unfurl, the bats must find new roosting sites every day.