How the bat got its buzz
- Permanent Link:
- How the bat got its buzz
- Series Title:
- Biology Letters
- Ratcliffe, John M.
Elemans, Coen P. H.
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Bats ( local )
Echolocation ( local )
Terminal Buzz ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Since the discovery of echolocation in bats, the final phase of an attack on a flying insect, the â€˜terminal buzzâ€™, has proved enigmatic. During the buzz, bats increase information update rates by producing vocalizations up to 220 times sâˆ’1. The buzz's ubiquity in hawking and trawling bats implies its importance for hunting success. Superfast muscles, previously unknown in mammals, are responsible for the extreme vocalization rate. Some bats produce a second phaseâ€”buzz IIâ€”defined by a large drop in the fundamental frequency (F0) of their calls. By doing so, bats broaden their acoustic field of view and should thereby reduce the likelihood of insect escape. We make the case that the buzz was a critical adaptation for capturing night-flying insects, and suggest that the drop in F0 during buzz II requires novel, unidentified laryngeal mechanisms in order to counteract increasing muscle tension. Furthermore, we propose that buzz II represents a countermeasure against the evasive flight of eared prey in the evolutionary arms-race that saw the independent evolution of bat-detecting ears in various groups of night-flying insects.
- Original Version:
- Biology Letters, Vol. 9, no. 2 (2013-04-23).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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