Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do bats know voices of friends they hang out with? Bats may recognize voices of other bats

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Is it possible that mammals have the ability to recognize individuals of the same species, whom they know well, by their voice? A new study has found that even in nocturnal, fast-moving animals such as bats, there is an ability to recognize certain vocal aspects of other bats from their social groups.

Still image from a video showing a bat reacting to contact call stimulus with a turning to the loudspeaker, placed on the right side.
Credit: Hanna Kastein

Is it possible that mammals have the ability to recognize individuals of the same species, whom they know well, by their voice? A new study has found that even in nocturnal, fast-moving animals such as bats, there is an ability to recognize certain vocal aspects of other bats from their social groups.

Related Articles


The study by Hanna Kastein from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany, and her colleagues is published in the Springer journal Animal Cognition.

The authors chose bats for their study as they are social mammals whose aerial lifestyle favors the use of acoustic cues for both orientation and communication. Body contacts among the social groups in the False Vampire bat, Megaderma lyra, suggest individualized relationships. The authors suggest that the ability to recognize individuals by sound may govern the reunion of groups at night roosts. When isolated bats are observed, they emit calls which result in the bat being joined by members of its usual night roosting group, giving weight to the belief that others must recognize his call.

The researchers used two groups of bats for their study. The groups were kept in separate flight rooms and observed over a minimum of two months. The researchers observed the established body-contact partners and separated bats from their respective groups to evoke the emission of contact calls which they recorded. These calls were then played back to bats which were either body-contact partners, no body-contact partners or unknown bats from another group. The behavior of the experimental bat was measured using the turning reaction of the bat's body towards the loudspeaker emitting the call.

The researchers found that the bats reacted to all single contact calls by turning towards the loudspeaker whether it was from a body-contact, no body-contact or unknown bat. This shows that they did not have a clear preference for calls from body-contact partners under these circumstances. The strong response to all the calls could be caused by the high attractiveness of any contact call to temporarily isolated bats.

However, in the set of experiments where bats were repeatedly presented with a call from a known bat until they gave no reaction to the sound and then presented with a different call, they showed a stronger turning response to other partners from their social group compared to a different call from the previously presented bat. This would suggest that the bats make an individual evaluation of the voice.

The researchers conclude: "The experiments provide evidence for identity discrimination based on voice dissimilarity, and may indicate recognition of conspecifics by voice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hanna B. Kastein, Rebecca Winter, A. K. Vinoth Kumar, Sripathi Kandula, Sabine Schmidt. Perception of individuality in bat vocal communication: discrimination between, or recognition of, interaction partners? Animal Cognition, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10071-013-0628-9

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Do bats know voices of friends they hang out with? Bats may recognize voices of other bats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115539.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, May 7). Do bats know voices of friends they hang out with? Bats may recognize voices of other bats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115539.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Do bats know voices of friends they hang out with? Bats may recognize voices of other bats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115539.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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