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Related to Echolocating: Biosonar, Animal echolocation


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



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.


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



An animal's use of sound reflections to localize objects and to orient in the environment.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sonar gain control and echo detection thresholds in the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus.
This] makes us very optimistic that many echolocating porpoises dolphins and whales will be able to change their hearing to protect it if they are properly warned.
Janet Mann, a professor of biology and psychology at Georgetown University, read the study but wasn't involved in the research and said it's still unclear if Tanner was echolocating or one of the other dolphins.
They didn't localize who was echolocating, so we could not rule out that it was the model and not Tanner," she said.
they can and do spend much of their time navigating through the water without echolocating," Barrett-Lennard asserts.
According to the researchers, echolocating bats minimize sound wave interference by tweaking the frequencies of the sounds they emit - their broadcasts - to detect and maneuver around obstacles.
Echolocating bats are surprisingly energy efficient in flight, report two zoologists, who believe their finding supports a controversial theory that some bats evolved from primates.
Surprisingly, the energy needed to fly by sonar was only slightly more than the energy of echolocating at rest, they report in the April 4 NATURE.
In contrast, the standard theory -- based mostly on wing similarities -- holds that microbats and megabats evolved from nocturnal mammals of the order Insectivora, and that most megabats later lost their echolocating abilities.
Barclay RMR and Brigham RE: Constraints on optimal foraging: a field test of prey discrimination by echolocating insectivorous bats.