Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stealth maneuver allows nectar bats to target insect prey

Date:
December 12, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
A nectar-feeding bat that was thought to eat insects in passing has been discovered to target its moving prey with stealth precision, according to new research.

A nectar-feeding bat that was thought to eat insects in passing has been discovered to target its moving prey with stealth precision.
Credit: Copyright Dr Elizabeth Clare

A nectar-feeding bat that was thought to eat insects in passing has been discovered to target its moving prey with stealth precision, according to new research by a scientist at Queen Mary University of London.

Related Articles


The researchers uncovered for the first time that the Pallas long-tongued bat use echolocation -- a complex physical trait that involves the production, reception and auditory processing of ultrasonic pulses for detecting unseen obstacles or tracking down prey. Most bats produce a rapid sequence of echolocation pulses to attack their prey and many insects have developed 'bat-detecting ears' in return to avoid being caught.

A genetic analysis of the bat's food waste showed that it consumes a type of moth that should be sensitive to being captured. To determine how the bats approach their insect prey, the scientists used sound recordings and infrared video to monitor the bats detecting and approaching tethered mealworms.

The results, published in the journal Functional Ecology, show that the bat's echolocation calls were high in frequency but low in intensity making it difficult for the insect to detect the imminent danger.

"When we compared the bats' echolocation calls to the moths' auditory abilities, we found that the low intensity echolocation calls were not loud enough to trigger the auditory neurons of moths with ears," explains Dr Elizabeth Clare from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

"In effect, the echolocation of Pallas's long-tongued bats is too quiet for the moths to hear and allows them to sneak up on their target using a stealth tactic."

The discovery means that the European barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) is no longer the only bat to use stealth echolocation to sneak up on moths.

Dr Clare added: "Our analysis suggests there might be more bats than previously thought that benefit from this stealthy approach that prevents prey from escaping by listening for bats."

The Pallas long-tongues bats (Glossophaga soricina) are an important pollinator in Central and South America and belong to a group of bats that are often called 'whispering bats' because many emit relatively quiet echolocation calls to forage within dense vegetation.

The research involved scientists from The University of Bristol; The Max Planck Institute (Germany); The University of Maryland (USA); The University of Massachusetts (USA); Western University (Canada), and The University of Guelph (Canada).


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Stealth maneuver allows nectar bats to target insect prey." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212113036.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, December 12). Stealth maneuver allows nectar bats to target insect prey. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212113036.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Stealth maneuver allows nectar bats to target insect prey." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212113036.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock 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