30 September 2011
New research on bats
During this week two interesting papers on bat biology have been published. First, McGuire et al (J. Anim. Ecol. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01012.x) reports on radio tracked silver-haired bats at Long Point Bird Observatory, Ontario, Canada, Radio tagged birds were tracked using 5 towers with antennas. Most bats stopped over for 1-2 days before continuing migration, while some bats stayed for up to two weeks. Another paper, by Elemans et al (Science, Vol. 333: 1885-1888) reports about ultra-fast laryngeal muscles, which can produce echolocation calls at rates beyond 160 calls per second. Bats use such fast repetition rates during their final approach to a prey, calls known as feeding buzzes that are heard in a bat detector.