How do bats use echolocation?

Bats have a one of the most unusual means of communicating with one another. While there is some vocalization from one bat to another, it is the use of echolocation that really allows bats to be able to speak with one another in an unusual way that is clearly understood by other bats.



What first must be understood is that bats are blind for all intents and purposes. This means that there can be very little to no communication that’s visual in any way. Since they are nocturnal, this would mean that communication through visualization would be useless anyway. Two bats would not be able to see one another as it were and since they do not have vision like a cat, who can see very clearly at night, they have no means of visual communication with one another.

While a reduced vision may seem like a crippling handicap to the bat, the truth is that this helps to improve other senses of the creatures, most notably their sense of hearing. Just like a human being gains a greater sense of hearing and smell when they lose their site, bats have a greatly improved auditory system that makes it so that they can hear things better than most other animals.

The Senses Are Greatly Heightened

Interestingly enough, bats have both an improved sense of smell and hearing which play a significant role in their ability to communicate. One form of that communication is where bats release hormones or pheromones into the air which can be sensed by other bats in the area. This is usually released as a form of communication telling other bats that the originator of the message is looking for reproductive partners. The pheromone is completely understood in the process of mating follows.

With echolocation, a bat is able to “hear” the messages of other bats through sonar waves that are sent out by the originator. This is a very unique and interesting process that separates the bat from every other kind of mammal on the earth.

In this form of communication, the originator sends out a sonar wave around him or her. When the wave reaches another bat is brought into the ear canal of the creature, and processed through a very sophisticated system within the bats auditory canal. A message is then sent to the brain of exactly what was intended to be sent.

These messages can take on many different forms. Some are sent out to simply inform other bats of their presence, not intending to entice or deter other bats from approaching. Other messages are sent that are intended to scare other bats away, while others are sent to encourage other bats to join in a search for food.

It is truly a spectacular way of communicating with one another in one of the most challenging kinds of environments. Because of their inability to see, bats are limited in how they can communicate. In addition, the echolocation process ensures that other animals may be completely unaware that bats are near them. This gives them a decided advantage against predators who may seek to harm the bat, and gives them an advantage over prey that may be trying to escape from the bat’s clutches.

The bat’s form of communication may be unique and unusual, but is a highly effective means of communication between these creatures. Even bats of other species are able to understand the messages sent out by the originator, meaning that they can communicate with every bat that may be there area. It is truly amazing how nature works when you get to examine it up close. NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local bat removal expert in your home town. Updated 2017. It's best to be educated on the subject, so browse this site and especially read the bats in the attic home page, or email me if you have any more questions about How do bats use echolocation?



Wildlife Education - Information and Advice for the Safe Removal of Bats from Attics