'Whispering' gives bats the drop on prey

'Whispering' gives bats the drop on prey

Quieter echolocation may catch more moths

By Susan Milius, 18:07 PM August 20, 2010

In a long-running war between bats and moths, at least one bat has gotten the upper wing.

Western barbastelle bats in Europe typically ping out their echolocation calls softly enough to locate a moth for dinner before the moth hears them coming, says Holger Goerlitz of the University of Bristol in England.

It’s the first documented case of a bat species outwitting its prey by quiet stealth, he and his colleagues say online in a Current Biology paper released August 19. The battle between...

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