THE BAT INTEREST GROUP
OF KWA ZULU NATAL
Copyright (C) 2011 Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu Natal All Rights Reserved
Copyright Paul Buchel

ECHOLOCATION 

In Africa, all insect-eating bats, and one species of cave-dwelling fruit bat, the Egyptian fruit bat, communicate and navigate using echoes bounced back from high frequency, ultrasonic clicks and squeaks emitted through the mouth or nostrils, a system known as echolocation.

 

The ultrasonic calls emitted by bats range in frequency (‘pitch’) from 20 to 210 kilohertz (one kilohertz, or 1 kHz, equals 1000 vibrations per second) and are generally inaudible to humans (who hear sounds of up to 20 kHz). Even though we cannot hear them, bats’ echolocation calls vary considerably in amplitude, with ‘whispering bats’ having soft calls and bats like horseshoe bats having very loud calls, with amplitudes comparable to the sound of a jackhammer at close range.

 

batskznwebsite050006.gif
The echolocation system of bats is vastly more efficient than any man-made sonar system. The American Navy is conducting ongoing research into the echolocation system of bats so as to model their underwater sonar systems more closely on that of bats.
 
Today we can use bat detectors to convert the higher pitched bat sounds into signals that we can hear. This provides us with a window on the fascinating lives of bats
BATLINE 082 445 0585
Home
Living With Bats
Bats of KZN
Bat Info.
About us
Bat Myths
Bats & The Law
Threats to Bats
Echolocation