Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moths can jam bat sonar by using ultrasound blasts

A new study has found out that moths can use ultrasound blasts to disrupt sonar from predatory bats, thus evading detection by the flying mammals. Bats emit high-pitched cries, and then listen as the sound waves bounce off nearby objects, allowing bats to find and eat tiny insects in the dark, among other things. Yet, bats aren’t the only species make ultrasonic clicks with their bodies. “These clicks were puzzling to us, because we did not know if they were being used to startle attacking bats, warn the bats that the moths tasted bad, or somehow confuse the bats by jamming their sonar,” study co-author William Conner, a biologist at Wake Forest University, said. In the end the experts found that the bats regularly missed the moths because moths have evolved a way to jam bat sonar.

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