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Nature & Environment Bats are the Best Romantic Singers: Study

Bats are the Best Romantic Singers: Study

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First Posted: Jul 20, 2013 08:40 AM EDT
Fruit Bat Inspired Flying Robot Designed by Virginia Tech Researchers
Fruit Bat Inspired Flying Robot Designed by Virginia Tech Researchers (Photo : Reuters)

Researchers have discovered that male bats are the best romantic singers in the entire animal kingdom as they attract female bats by vocalizing in a particular manner.

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The research conducted at Texas A& M University reveals that male bats can attract the attention of female bats by vocalizing in a specific way and they also discovered that on gaining their attention they can alter their tune.  The male bats have an array of creative sounds to entertain the partners and keep them interested.

The researchers came to this conclusion based on the study conducted over a period of three years where they recorded thousands of Mexican free tailed bats in the Texas A&M campus and discovered that male bats are true singers.

"These bats can fly very fast, almost 30 feet per second. They only have about one-tenth of a second to get the females' attention. We learned that they use a very specific song to grab the female's attention as she flies by the roost. Once a bat joins their roost, the males mix up their songs, possibly to keep the females entertained long enough for mating to begin," said Mike Smotherman, associate professor of biology.

The researchers find the bats unique and special because they can reorganize their vocals quickly to produce a different singing style just to keep the female bats entertained. They are very creative in their singing.

Smotherman notes that the free-tailed bat's singing is very similar to that of songbirds.  In order to attract a mate most of the other animals such as birds depend on visual cues (with their bright feathers). But for bats it's just sound and they sings more than any other mammals.

The findings were published in Animal Behaviour.

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