Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bat Boffin Debunks 'Blind' Myth

Date:
October 31, 2006
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
There really is nothing as 'blind as a bat' ... because bats are not blind. They are, however, the world's only flying mammal with more than 1000 species. Some are as tiny as a bumblebee, weighing about as much as a dime while the largest have wing spans approaching 1.8 metres (6 feet).

A western small-footed bat, Myotis ciliolabrum, sitting on Paul Faure's thumb. This bat weighs about 4-5 grams and is found in western North America.
Credit: Photo by Paul Faure

There really is nothing as 'blind as a bat' ... because bats are not blind.

They are, however, the world's only flying mammal with more than 1000 species. Some are as tiny as a bumblebee, weighing about as much as a dime while the largest have wing spans approaching 1.8 metres (6 feet).

These amazing critters have fascinated and repelled human mammals for thousands of years, but what we know about them is riddled with myths, misconceptions and misunderstanding.

Enter McMaster's own "Bat Man," Paul Faure, a neuroethologist in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour whose Science in City lecture will explore The Wings of Darkness: Myths and Realities of Bats.

His talk, which takes place at 7 p.m. on "Devil's Night," Oct. 30 in The Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, will debunk the myths, provide the facts and help the audience understand that bats are beneficial to humans--and that we can indeed co-exist happily with this much maligned group of organisms.

Faure has probably heard all of the misconceptions about bats and acknowledges that the most common is that bats are blind.

"The reality is that all bats do indeed see," he says. "They also possess exceptionally good hearing and very sophisticated sonar--the military still doesn't have sonar as good as how nature does it in bats," says Faure.

Faure's research as a neuroethologist focuses on two major animal groups: echolocating bats and tympanate insects.

The bats in his lab provide him with some fascinating information about the social signals that bats use--a rich social repertoire of "bat language" that reveals their sophisticated processing abilities.

Bats also have the capacity to perform complicated tasks and according to Faure, "possess incredible memories. They extract images of objects in their environment using sound and can migrate hundreds of miles and return to the exact location where they started from-- sometimes right down to the same branch on a tree."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Bat Boffin Debunks 'Blind' Myth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061028092920.htm>.
McMaster University. (2006, October 31). Bat Boffin Debunks 'Blind' Myth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061028092920.htm
McMaster University. "Bat Boffin Debunks 'Blind' Myth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061028092920.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins