Bats' radars

One of the most interesting features of bats is their incredible sense of direction. This ability of the bats was discovered by scientists through a series of experiments.

Every creature in this world has its unique features. All of these features have a special purpose in the body of these creatures And also make the lives of these creatures easier for them, and thus are very important.

Among all of the animals, bats have a special hearing ability. And many new features of these creatures were also discovered according to new experiments.

In one of the experiments which the scientists made, a bat was in a dark room. After that a fly was placed into the other side of the room, and the movements of the bat were followed by a night vision camera. With the first movements of the fly, the bat goes directly for the fly and begins to hunt it. With this experiment it was recognized that bats have a very special and advanced sensory ability. But where does this great sensory ability come from? Does it come from the hearing ability or from a special kind of night vision system?

In order to find out the answers to these questions, scientists conducted another experiment. This time a caterpillar was placed into the room, and it was covered with a piece of paper. Without a moment’s hesitation, the bat went to the caterpillar, went under the paper and ate the caterpillar. This result shows that the sense of direction of the bat has no relation to its eyesight.

Scientist continued their experiments with bats: a bat was placed on one side of a long hallway and a group of butterflies were placed on the other side. Before this however, walls that divided the hall vertically were built; after that, holes only a bat could pass through were built into every wall. Each of the holes was in the different parts of the hall. In other words, in order for a bat to be able to pass through these walls, it has to do almost a “slalom” race.

When the bat was close to the first wall, it went directly to the hole, and passed through this hole easily. The same behavior was observed in the remaining walls; the bat did not need to look for the hole in the wall, but rather went  through it directly. After passing the last wall, the bat ate the butterfly.

In order to further examine the magnificent sensory ability of bats, scientists decided to conduct another experiment about the subject. This time they decided to define the margins of the sensory ability of the bats better. Again a long tunnel was built, and through the tunnel 0.6 millimeter steel cables hung from the ceiling at random. The bat successfully passed through the steel cables, without crashing into any of them, and arrived at  the other side of the tunnel. This flight of the bat shows that it can detect the 0.6 mm cables from a distance. The other experiments that were conducted, showed that the great sensory ability of bats is based on a special sonar system. (

Bats emit high frequency sound waves in order to sense the objects around them. These sound waves, which humans cannot hear, are sensed by the bat and so the animal creates a kind of map of the area that it is in. In other words, bats can sense even the tiniest fly in the air, with the help of sound waves that hits the fly, and then comes back to the bat. Bats can find their way with the sonar system by calculating how long it takes for the sound wave to return to them.

According to the Doppler principle, frequency of a sound wave that hits an object changes. Bats calculate the return time of the sound waves according to this law. Most religions see this as a gift of Allah; and according to the Islamic religion, Allah created bats in this way. In the Qu'ran, Allah says:

"Of course there are signs for you in animals, too.” (Surat an-Nahl, 66))

2011-07-13 23:30:50

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