Experimental Studies on Echolocation Mechanisms in Bats

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Report Number: AMRL TR 67-192
Author(s): Webster, Frederic A., Brazier, Oliver G.
Corporate Author(s): Sensory Systems Laboratory
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1968-05
Pages: 164
Contract: AF 33(615)-2964
DoD Project: 7233 - Biological Information Handling Systems and Their Functional Analogs
DoD Task: 723302 - Biological Servomechanisms
Identifier: AD0673373

Comparative pursuit studies carried out on three species (Myotis lucifugus, Eptesicus fuscus and Lasiurus borealis) revealed similar tactics of pursuit and capture in Myotis and Eptesicus. Detection and localization capacities of Eptesicus appeared equal to the other species, but discrimination between spheres and mealworms proved highly variable, and the capacity to capture small targets inferior. Though the measured pursuit signals of the three species had definable differences, the phases of pursuit exhibited common characteristics, adequate for real-time machine identification, and thus usable for pursuit-controlled triggering of stimuli or recording equipment. Echoes returned by objects discriminated by bats have been studied by oscilloscope and human listening. Due to the number of relatively nonfluctuating echoes from mealworms (projected into a sound field of ultrasonic pulses), other details must provide essential clues for the bats' observed discriminations.

Provenance: RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine

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