How do bats hunt?

Unlike many animals that leadnocturnal, bats hunt almost blindly. Contrary to the common myth about their excellent night vision, they see poorly in the dark and are forced to navigate in space with the help of mouth and ears. It sounds strange, but it really is - they make sounds, the waves of which are reflected from surrounding objects and captured by their ears. This method of orientation in space is called echolocation and, precisely because of it, nocturnal predators can detect their prey.

Depending on the species, bats canfeed on the blood of other animals and all kinds of vegetation, but most of them prefer insects. It is known that in one hour of hunting one individual can eat about 200 mosquitoes. However, they cannot be satiated with mosquitoes alone, so they try to find and eat more nutritious bugs and caterpillars. Their search sometimes turns into a real test, because these insects are perfectly masked in the leaves of plants.

Masking insects

For a long time, scientists believed that bats are nothave no chance of detecting insects sitting motionless on the leaves of trees. The fact is that if the mice fly up to any leaf at a right angle, the echolocation sounds are reflected from the leaf without any distortion caused by the body of the insect - in fact, the bugs become invisible to them. However, in the course of a new study, it turned out that predators already know about this “acoustic camouflage” of insects and fly up to the leaves at an angle. Thanks to this trick, the sound waves touch the bodies of insects and let you know that there is something on the leaf of the tree.

Flying up to the leaves at right angles, bats cannot detect prey.

Scientists were convinced of this by conducting an experiment induring which, from 541 different angles, sound waves affected the leaves of plants with and without insects. During this process, they captured the reflected waves and assessed when exposed at what angle insects are best found. It was found that for successful hunting bats should fly up to the leaves at an angle of 42 to 78 degrees.

The most cunning animals

The next stage of the experiment confirmed thatbats do just that in 80% of cases. When scientists placed four bats in an open-air cage with several artificial leaves, a fixed dragonfly and several cameras, the predators actually flew to the leaf surface at angles in the above range.

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This behavior of bats has become forThe researchers are quite a big discovery. Now they believe that there are still many tricks in the supply of these amazing creatures that help them hunt even without good vision. Indeed, bats are amazing creatures because their organisms easily withstand infection with the Ebola virus and other human-deadly diseases.

However, these winged predators are dying by millions from another disease.

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