echolocation

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Related to Echo location: Human echolocation

echolocation

determination of the position of an object by measuring the time taken for an echo to return from it and its direction

Echolocation

 

the perception of reflected sound waves, usually high-frequency, by certain animals, which emit them to detect objects in space, such as prey or obstacles, and determine their properties and dimensions. Echolocation is one of the means by which animals orient themselves in space. It is developed in bats and dolphins and has been discovered in shrews, a number of species of seals, and birds, including oilbirds and salanganes.

In dolphins and bats, echolocation is based on the emission of ultrasonic impulses with frequencies of as high as 130–200 kilo-hertz (kHz) and duration of signals usually from 0.2 to 4–5 milliseconds, sometimes more. In birds that live in dark caves, such as oilbirds and salanganes, it is used for orientation in the dark; they emit low-frequency signals of 7–4 kHz. Dolphins and bats use echolocation not only to determine their general orientation, but also to determine the spatial position of an object and its dimensions. In a number of cases echolocation even enables them to recognize the appearance of an object and therefore often serves as an important means of searching out and capturing food.

REFERENCE

Airapet’iants, E. Sh., and A. I. Konstantinov. Ekholokatsiia v prirode, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1974.

G. N. SIMKIN

echolocation

[′ek·ō·lō‚kā·shən]
(biophysics)
An animal's use of sound reflections to localize objects and to orient in the environment.
References in periodicals archive ?
He explained that echo location, or flashsonar as he terms it, will eventually enable Jamie to detect buildings from a distance of more than 100 metres.
I have a feeling what could be going on here might well be linked to the fact that dolphins use sonar-like echo location to navigate.
A groundbreaking cane for the blind and partially sighted based on ultrasound and echo location used by bats and dolphins was revealed in Birmingham yesterday.
We don't know if they are afraid to enter the channel because their echo location can't follow it.