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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
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