Bats Internal Maps

August 17, 2011 by staff 

Bats Internal MapsBats Internal Maps, The flight patterns of bats complex were followed successfully, thanks to smaller devices in the world of GPS, which revealed that Egyptian fruit bats are equipped with visual maps and a compass inside of your range, from a “bird’s eye view.”

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem united small GPS devices to bats in a field study in an attempt to discover how the fruit bats identify specific fruit trees, flying dozens of miles every night.

The fruit bat of Egypt, Egyptian Rousette is a bat species seen throughout Africa and the Middle East. Consuming large amounts of fruit every night, as the dates of wild berries.

While the navigational skills of other creatures, including birds, fish, insects and turtles have been investigated; studies of browsing mammals have been limited to the laboratory.

This study marks the first comprehensive study based on GPS navigation field mammals. GPS devices used to track the bats each weighing about 10 grams, contains tiny GPS receivers, plus a memory recorder and battery.

For several consecutive nights of observation, the bats took flight in a cave near the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, flying straight at a speed of at least 40 miles per hour, hundreds of feet above the tops of the trees. They traveled to the same trees about 12 to 25 km of the cave night after night, even ignoring the seemingly identical trees close to home. This rules out the smell as their primary navigational aid.

As a way to further research, scientists brought some sticks to a new area in the desert, 44 kilometers south of its normal range.

Some bats were released in the dark, while others were fed into the new area and released shortly before dawn. The first launched had no problems traveling to their favorite fruit trees, returning back to their caves after. Those who were fed first, just went straight to the cave, once they were released. This led researchers to believe that bats were using familiar landmarks to find their way home, no matter the distance.

The bats were tested with a distance further, he moved into a natural depression to limit their field of vision. This time, some bats were released from a hilltop on the edge of the large crater of 84 km south of the caves at home, while others from the crater.
Those in the top of the hill could be redirected immediately to fly back to the cave, while the bottom of the crater seemed disoriented, unable to find clear reference points to identify where they were. After wandering for a while, the bats finally found a way out of the crater and home.

The results showed that bats use visual information to construct a cognitive map of a large area, carry around an internal map, cognitive in their area of?? Origin based on landmarks such as lights and hills.

When landmarks are not reliable, the bats may have an additional mechanism, backup navigation, such as the magnetic field detection direction and the smells made in the sea breeze from the Mediterranean to the Negev desert, the researchers.

The researchers concluded that the great navigational skills of bats could compete with the pigeons. The findings could lead a new vision of the ecology of bats and therefore mind mapping system in mammals, including humans.

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