Logo Logo
Switch Language to German
Baier, A. Leonie; Stelzer, Kristin-Jasmin; Wiegrebe, Lutz ORCID: 0000-0002-9289-6187 (2018): Flutter sensitivity in FM bats. Part II: amplitude modulation. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A, Vol. 204, No. 11: pp. 941-951
Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


Bats use echolocation to detect targets such as insect prey. The echolocation call of frequency-modulating bats (FM bats) typically sweeps through a broad range of frequencies within a few milliseconds. The large bandwidth grants the bat high spatial acuity in depicting the target. However, the extremely short call duration and the overall low duty cycle of call emission impair the bat's capability to detect e.g. target movement. Nonetheless, FM bats constitute more than 80% of all echolocating species and are able to navigate and forage in an environment full of moving targets. We used an auditory virtual reality approach to generate changes in echo amplitude reflective of fluttering insect wings independently from other confounding parameters. We show that the FM bat Phyllostomus discolor successfully detected these modulations in echo amplitude and that their performance increased with the rate of the modulation, mimicking faster insect wing-beats. The ability of FM bats to detect amplitude modulations of echoes suggests a release from the trade-off between spatial and temporal acuity and highlights the diversity of selective pressures working on the echolocation system of bats.