Mexican Free-Tailed Bats Produce Specific Sound to Catch Their Prey, say Researchers
Scientists while conducting a study on a common species of bats found that the Mexican free-tailed bats produce a specific kind of sound while competing for their food. The study was published in the journal Science.
Scientists found that the noises produced by bats obstruct other bats that are using their echolocation abilities to find their prey. Echolocation is bio sonar, which helps bats to detect and catch the juicy insects flying in the night sky.
Some sophisticated video and audio recordings made during the experiments in Arizona and New Mexico revealed how Mexican free-tailed bats snatch each others' meal plans.
Lead researcher Aaron Corcoran, a biologist at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, said on Friday, "The bats jam competitors to prevent them from capturing insects so that the jamming bat has an opportunity to catch the prey. The hunting bat is 86 percent less likely to capture the prey when it is getting jammed".
Researchers affirmed that Mexican free-tailed bat species is the first-ever known bat species that uses jamming to compete for their prey. In addition, they also said that there are possibilities that other bat species might also be adopting such tactics.
During the study, Corcoran found that the jamming call of bats have a specific pitch that rapidly moves up and down, covering the frequencies used by bats to locate and capture insects.
Wake Forest biologist Bill Conner said that this jamming is very similar to a technique used by modern aviation warfare. Wake affirmed that it is like a pilot jamming the radar of a missile.
Conner said battling for bugs is almost like a challenge for these bats, despite the fact that they live in colonies of millions of individuals wanting the same kind of meal.
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