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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - How do bats communicate?

How do bats communicate?

A general misconception related to bats is that they have low sight and hearing abilities. Because these unusual mammals use different mechanism and ways of nesting, hunting, sleeping and communicating, they are often wrongfully believed to be blind or have poor eyesight. The truth about bats and their abilities is rather different than what’s perceived. In fact, bats are equipped with the eyesight abilities that are far from poor. Bats can see completely fine in the dark, however, their speed and precision in which they fly through narrow spaces and hunt with almost laser-like precision required some enchantment by the hand of the Mother Nature.

What we are talking about is called Echolocation. Present in many other mammals, such as dolphins, whales, birds and even some remarkable cases in humans, this ability, or phenomenon, allows bats to emit high-frequency notices and determine distance of the objects, including other bats, based on the reflection their ultrasonic sounds have on their surroundings. Bats use this mechanism both in their communication with their environment, as well as each other. Echolocation allows bats to communicate with great speed and precision, which was the evolution’s way of perfecting their life within their communities.

To give an exact answer, the mechanism in which bats communicate, in its core, is not a lot different than the way other mammals communicate. They emit sounds using their mouth or noses, depending on the species, and collect sounds from their environment using their ears to interpret them. The mechanism of echolocation is what makes them somewhat unique. However, bats still use their unique voices and frequencies to communicate different signals and situations. While in their roosts, bats are constantly making noises to determine their location within the group. This allows them to stay well-coordinated and fly with a remarkable precision and size within even the largest groups of bats flying alongside.

Bats interpret sounds surrounding them using their ears, and emit ultrasonic sounds of such high frequencies, that a human ear can’t even hear them. They use these sounds to both orient within the space, hunt and communicate with each other. This unique way of communication allows bats to fly great lengths and with greatest speed, while still being able to stay connected with their group.

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