Noise may disrupt a bat’s dinner

Mechanical cacophony can drown out the whispers of moving insect prey

By Susan Milius, 14:45 PM August 23, 2013

BOULDER, Colo. — The roar of humankind’s machines may make it hard for some bats to hear the tiny footsteps of their prey.

Bats that snatch insects off leaves and other surfaces find their targets by listening for the little rustles and scratchings of prey in motion. In the lab, pallid bats (Antrozous pallidus) took extra time to locate live insects when speakers blared noise, Jessie Bunkley of Boise State University in Idaho reported July 30 at the annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Societ...

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