October 31, 2013
Echolocation Frequencies Similar In Bats And Whales
A new study from Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark reveals that biosonar of toothed whales and bats are similar despite their obvious differences. But how? The answer is the theory of convergent evolution—when almost identical features or developments happen in different species. Despite their immense difference in size, the team found that toothed whales and bats produce echolocation frequencies in the same range. Since bats and their prey are small, the bat produces sound at a high frequency with short wavelengths; the whale must also produce high frequency sound since its emissions are slowed when traveling through water. So it balances out, giving the bat and the whale the same abilities with their echolocation.