Bats Tell It Like It Is

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The Egyptian fruit bat is a highly social mammal that roosts (and argues) in crowded colonies. (Michal Samuni-Blank)

Health Editor’s Note: This bat speak related article is from three years ago, but interesting none the less. Due to their close proximity to others as they carry on their lives, it is not difficult to believe that the argue. I love bats!….Carol

Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot

by Jason Daley Smithsonian.com  2016

Plenty of animals communicate with one another, at least in a general way—wolves howl to each other, birds sing and dance to attract mates and big cats mark their territory with urine. But researchers at Tel Aviv University recently discovered that when at least one species communicates, it gets very specific. Egyptian fruit bats, it turns out, aren’t just making high pitched squeals when they gather together in their roosts. They’re communicating specific problems, reports Bob Yirka at Phys.org.

According to Ramin Skibba at Nature, neuroecologist Yossi Yovel and his colleagues recorded a group of 22 Egyptian fruit bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus, for 75 days. Using a modified machine learning algorithm originally designed for recognizing human voices, they fed 15,000 calls into the software. They then analyzed the corresponding video to see if they could match the calls to certain activities.

They found that the bat noises are not just random, as previously thought, reports Skibba. They were able to classify 60 percent of the calls into four categories. One of the call types indicates the bats are arguing about food. Another indicates a dispute about their positions within the sleeping cluster. Read more:


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Just keep the bats out of your own attic. They can have bat bugs, a close relative of bed bugs. If infested bats get chased out of their roost, the bugs go looking for other mammals in the vicinity to snack on.

  2. Echolocation to the precision required to catch a mosquito in mid air at high speeds does not work without intuition and heightened sense of awareness. The saying “blind as a bat” makes no sense in this regard. They are anything but. As for their communication amongst themselves, it is normal for mammals.
    In some parts of the world , spending the night in a cave occupied by bats was commonplace for education. It is an exercise in trust and acute awareness. The ability to focus without fear. 95% of humans would fail the test today.