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 October 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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