Bats raised in helium-rich air reveal a key to ecolocation

It is now well established Bats can develop an emotional picture of their environment using ecolocation. But we’re trying to figure out what bats mean by how bats take the echo of their own voices and use them to determine the position of objects.

In this Paper Published Monday, the researchers proved that bats are involved in the echolocation of parts because they were born with the innate notion of sound motion. How did the researchers study this phenomenon? Raises Bats In helium-rich environments, where low-density air increases the speed of sound.

Echolocation is rather simple in principle. A bat generates sound, which removes objects in its environment and then returns to the bat’s ear. For more distant objects, the sound takes longer to return to provide a sense of comparative distance.

Bats, however, can use echolocation to detect prey on medium flight or to select a location for landing. For that they need to have a sense of perfect distance. It is not enough to know that the branch you want to land on is closer to the back of the house; You need to know when to start the complex movement involving latching on the branch, or you can run into it or come to a full stop in the middle.

The easiest way to get the absolute distance is to understand the speed of sound. With this, the delay between a voice and the return echo will provide a perfect distance. But how do you check if bats have any idea about the speed of sound?

UC Yuvel of the University of Iran Amichai and Tel Aviv decided that there is a simple method: to change the speed of sound. One of the factors that affects the speed of sound is the density of air. There is an easy way to change the density of air: spike it with light-air gas. In this case, the authors chose helium and raised a group of bats in an environment that had enough helium to increase the speed of sound by 15 percent.

(Whether the bats raised in this environment sound funny or not were sadly left unattended))

A faster motion of the word means the reflected echo will return to the bat more quickly. Instead, it means that the object that creates the image will actually feel closer to it. So if we somehow understand how close a bat perceives an object, we can get a measure of their understanding of the speed of sound.

Fortunately, the species of bat used in these experiments changes its echolocation sounds as it approaches an ic. So by tracking the noises that bats make when approaching an object, we can see how close they are to it.

To do this experimentally, the researchers raised butts in a distant enclosure with a feeding station, one group of which grew in normal air and the other in helium-rich air. They then exchanged atmospheres for two groups. For bats raised with the help of helium, the slow motion of normal air may take longer to resonate and thus the feeding station seems farther away. The opposite would be true of bats grown in normal air.

It turns out that the bats in both groups behaved similarly. They perceived the platform as closer to helium-rich air and farther away from ordinary air. So what the bats have learned from the environment in which they grew up is not conceivable; Their perceptions about the speed of sound were identical. This implies that the concept is inherent in bats.

It is somewhat surprising that bats have experienced changes in weather and altitude that can often change the speed of sound by more than 5 percent. So it may seem convenient to be able to adjust the ecolocation according to the conditions. Amichai and Yuvel, however, kept the mature bat in the helium environment for a few weeks and found no sign that could adjust their perception of where the feeding station was. This was also true in environments that contained 2 percent helium. Thus, the bat’s knowledge of the motion of words is locked in place.

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