Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Elude Bats, A Moth Keeps Its Hearing In Tune

Date:
December 30, 2006
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Current understanding of the co-evolution of bats and moths has been thrown into question following new research reported in the journal Current Biology.

The Yellow Underwing moth.
Credit: Dr James Windmill

Current understanding of the co-evolution of bats and moths has been thrown into question following new research reported in the journal Current Biology.

Related Articles


Dr James Windmill from the University of Bristol, UK, has shown how the Yellow Underwing moth changes its sensitivity to a bat's calls when the moth is being chased. And in case there is another attack, the moth's ear remain tuned in for several minutes after the calls stop.

Dr Windmill said: "Because the moth cleverly tunes its ear to enhance its detection of bats, we must now question whether the bat in turn modifies its calls to avoid detection by the moth. In view of the vast diversity of bat calls, this is only to be expected.

"To date, this phenomenon has not been reported for insects or, in fact, for any other hearing system in the animal kingdom. These findings change our understanding of the co-evolution of bats and moths and have implications for the hearing of many other animals."

It has been known for over 50 years that moths can hear the ultrasonic hunting calls of their nocturnal predator, the bat. Previously it was thought that these ears were only partially sensitive to the sound frequencies commonly used by bats and that bats would make their hunting calls inaudible to moths.

But now it appears that even though moth ears are among the simplest in the insect world -- they have only two or four vibration sensitive cells attached to a small eardrum -- moths are not as deaf as previously thought.

As a bat gets closer to the moth, both the loudness and frequency (pitch) of the bat's calls increase. Surprisingly, the sensitivity of the moth's ear to the bat's calls also increases. This occurs because the moth's ear dynamically becomes more sensitive to the frequencies that many bats use when attacking moths.

This multidisciplinary work involved engineers, biologists and physicists; biological measurements are accompanied by a mathematical model explaining the basis for the unconventional behaviour of the moth's ear.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "To Elude Bats, A Moth Keeps Its Hearing In Tune." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061218122629.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2006, December 30). To Elude Bats, A Moth Keeps Its Hearing In Tune. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061218122629.htm
University of Bristol. "To Elude Bats, A Moth Keeps Its Hearing In Tune." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061218122629.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) 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