Bats rule the night skies, using the power of echolocation, or reflected sound. More than 1,000 species of echolocating bats exist, compared to just 80 species of nocturnal non-echolocating birds. It seems that normal vision works in tandem with echolocation to give bats an evolutionary edge, however, no one knows exactly how.
A new study, led by Arjan Boonman and Yossi Yovel of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Zoology, suggests that bats use vision to keep track of where they are going and echolocation to hunt tiny insects that are invisible to most nocturnal predators. Published in Frontiers of Physiology, the study results add to our understanding of sensory evolution.
“Imagine driving down the highway: Everything is clear in the distance, but objects are a blur when you pass them,” said Dr. Boonman. “Well, echolocation gives bats the unique ability to home in on small objects — mostly insects — while flying at high speeds.”
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For a discussion on ‘Bats and Echolocation’ there is an article explaining this here. There are also useful general discussions about bats on this site.