Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bat that sings like a bird is highly tuned to social circumstance

Date:
July 10, 2013
Source:
Florida International University
Summary:
New research shows that Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) vary the way elements are combined in their songs (i.e. syntax) in response to different social contexts, which is exceedingly rare among non-human mammals.

Florida International University (FIU) biologist Kirsten M. Bohn in collaboration with researchers from Texas A&M, recently published a study that shows Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) vary the way elements are combined in their songs (i.e. syntax) in response to different social contexts, which is exceedingly rare among non-human mammals.

Related Articles


The free-tailed bat is a mammal that sings like a bird, producing complex songs following specific organizational rules. Unlike most mammalian vocalizations, free-tailed bat songs are hierarchically structured where syllables are combined to form phrases and phrases are combined to form songs analogous to human speech. Previous research by Bohn and colleagues showed that song syntax varied greatly from one rendition to the next, however the function of syntactical variation remained unknown.

In this study Bohn found that song syntax is directly correlated with social context. Free-tailed bats roost in the millions and have highly variable social environments. Thus, song flexibility may have evolved to meet the demands of a complex and dynamic social environment. Actively modifying vocal syntax in response to social cues is common in songbirds and the basis for songbirds being used as our main model of human speech. As mammals, bats may greatly add to our understanding of the neurobiology of speech production.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kirsten M. Bohn, Grace C. Smarsh, Michael Smotherman. Social context evokes rapid changes in bat song syntax. Animal Behaviour, 2013; 85 (6): 1485 DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.04.002

Cite This Page:

Florida International University. "Bat that sings like a bird is highly tuned to social circumstance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710102732.htm>.
Florida International University. (2013, July 10). Bat that sings like a bird is highly tuned to social circumstance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710102732.htm
Florida International University. "Bat that sings like a bird is highly tuned to social circumstance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710102732.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) A long-necked dinosaur from the Jurassic Period was discovered in China. Researchers think it could answer mythology questions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. 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