Document Detail

Evolution of high duty cycle echolocation in bats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22875762     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Duty cycle describes the relative 'on time' of a periodic signal. In bats, we argue that high duty cycle (HDC) echolocation was selected for and evolved from low duty cycle (LDC) echolocation because increasing call duty cycle enhanced the ability of echolocating bats to detect, lock onto and track fluttering insects. Most echolocators (most bats and all birds and odontocete cetaceans) use LDC echolocation, separating pulse and echo in time to avoid forward masking. They emit short duration, broadband, downward frequency modulated (FM) signals separated by relatively long periods of silence. In contrast, bats using HDC echolocation emit long duration, narrowband calls dominated by a single constant frequency (CF) separated by relatively short periods of silence. HDC bats separate pulse and echo in frequency by exploiting information contained in Doppler-shifted echoes arising from their movements relative to background objects and their prey. HDC echolocators are particularly sensitive to amplitude and frequency glints generated by the wings of fluttering insects. We hypothesize that narrowband/CF calls produced at high duty cycle, and combined with neurobiological specializations for processing Doppler-shifted echoes, were essential to the evolution of HDC echolocation because they allowed bats to detect, lock onto and track fluttering targets. This advantage was especially important in habitats with dense vegetation that produce overlapping, time-smeared echoes (i.e. background acoustic clutter). We make four specific, testable predictions arising from this hypothesis.
M Brock Fenton; Paul A Faure; John M Ratcliffe
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  215     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-09     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2935-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Western University, London, ON, Canada N6A 5B7.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Childhood osteomyelitis: imaging characteristics.
Next Document:  Determining rates of epithelial solute transport by optical measurement of fluorochrome concentratio...