Document Detail

The synchronisation of signal emission with wingbeat during the approach phase in soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11171308     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous studies have shown that, during search flight in bats, wingbeat, respiration and echolocation are synchronised in a 1:1 relationship. An efficiently integrated locomotor-respiratory system enables bats to produce intense echolocation signals at little or no cost above that required for flight. In this study, we investigated the coupling of wingbeat with echolocation in the laboratory during approach flight in soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) using high-speed digital video at 250 and 500 frames s(-)(1). We found that soprano pipistrelles most commonly produce single or double pulses per wingbeat. Single pulses per wingbeat occurred in two alternative positions: immediately before the end of the upstroke or after the start of the downstroke. Double pulses per wingbeat were emitted in the same wingbeat positions on the upstroke and the downstroke, as in single pulses per wingbeat. We suggest that, during approach flight, the coupling of more than one echolocation signal with a single wingbeat and expiratory cycle allows echolocation to remain energetically economic. When soprano pipistrelles approached a Perspex disc target, an increase in mean repetition rate was achieved by producing an extra pulse per wingbeat. Finally, we hypothesise that the bat's approach to potentially interesting targets in the same horizontal plane as it's flight path, i.e. during flapping flight, may be characterised by the production of double pulses per wingbeat, resulting in a unique pattern of echolocation pulse intervals.
J G Wong; D A Waters
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  204     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2001 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-22     Completed Date:  2001-06-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  575-83     Citation Subset:  IM    
Comparative Physiology and Biomechanics Group, School of Biology, The Miall Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Chiroptera / physiology*
Echolocation / physiology*

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