Bats are very vocal mammals – in fact they are the most vocal next to humans. They most often use echolocation so that they can hear or communicate. Bats produce ultra-high frequency sound waves that bounce off of objects in their surroundings. The sounds enable bats to get a detailed picture of the objects in their surroundings and also allow them to communicate. This is how they are able to find prey when it is complete darkness with little or no difficulty.
Bats are able to create sounds using their mouths, but there are some bats that are able to produce sounds using their noses. They have sensitive ears that can pick up sounds that reflect away from the objects that are found around them. The echolocation is used not only for communication but also for navigation. The bats may determine the distance that exists between some things according to the time that it takes them to relay their sounds and for the sounds to return to their ears. The bats can emit loud ultrasounds which may fluctuate between high and low frequencies. It helps the bats to be able to identify or capture their prey or to avoid obstacles.
Bats are able to produce an incredible rate of over 200 pulses each second at frequencies so high that they are typically inaudible to the human ear. The hearing range of humans is over 20 hertz to over 15 and 20 kilohertz, depending on their age. On the other hand, bats can hear sounds that are at frequencies of over 110 kilohertz.
There are over 1200 species of bats and they use different frequency patterns. Different bat species do use different frequency ranges according to their surroundings or the type of prey they are after. Scientists may identify different species through listening to their sounds or using bat detectors.
The high frequency songs that bats sing have complex syllables, but are largely not detectable by the human ear. Certain scientists continue to research how bats organize the syllables to form their songs and what exactly they are communicating. Scientists have determined that male bats use their own unique syllable to create a distinctive courtship song. This is just one way that bats are known to communicate. It has also been determined that bats use this form of vocal communication to establish territorial borders, scare off intruders, teach their babies, and identify other bats.
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