Whatcha looking at? This is just my face.
This new leaf-nosed bat species was recently discovered in Vietnam. What’s with the strange nose? Scientists think that its protuberances and indentations help the bat in echolocation. Come to think of it, it does kind of resemble another excellent sound detector: the inside a cat’s ear.
As strange as the Hipposideros griffini’s nose is, it’s really got nothing on the star-nosed mole.
[via National Geographic News]
Image courtesy of Vu Dinh Thong / Journal of Mammalogy
Bats may have a clever way of catching prey, but it turns out the tiger moth has some tricks of its own to avoid becoming a bat’s next meal. According to a study published in Science, the tiger moth disrupts the sound waves the bat uses home in on prey by emitting its own ultrasound blasts.
Researchers knew that the tiger moth emitted ultrasound waves, but they weren’t sure why. Previous studies indicated the moth’s sounds might serve to startle the bats, or warn them that the insects were unpalatable. The new research, however, tested both of these theories. The scientists had so-called big brown bats hunt tiger moths in a chamber fitted with ultrasonic recording equipment and high-speed infrared video. If the moth sound is used to startle bats, then in the chamber the bats should be disrupted on first attack, then learn to ignore the ultrasonic click, the team figured. That didn’t happen. If the moths’ clicks are warnings that the insects taste bad, then the bats should hear the click, bite the moth—and never do so again whenever they hear the sound. That didn’t happen either [National Geographic News].