For bats, simple traffic patterns limit collisions | Science News

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For bats, simple traffic patterns limit collisions

Dauberton’s bats

SYNCHRONIZED SNACKING  Dauberton’s bats copy foraging fellows’ movements within four or five wingbeats to avoid aerial collisions. 

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Humans aren’t the only ones who follow traffic rules. Bats do it too, researchers report March 26 in PLOS Computational Biology.

Scientists eavesdropped on echolocating Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii) as the animals cruised for dinner. Once a bat locks on to a peer’s  sonar calls, the bat copies its movements to within a few wingbeats, the researchers found.

Syncing up benefits the bats by helping them avoid colliding in midair. The bats chase each other, swoop one after another and bank to avoid crashing.

 

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