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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 ?
She was a bright, loud, instantaneous wall of reflected clicks when Keiko was echolocating, and a dark silhouette against the white noise of the sea when he was not.
Take another look at those bizarre, alienlike folds and wrinkles on insect-eating bats' faces, and at the odd, cone-shaped growth (called a tragus) projecting from each ear on most species--they're all parts of the animals' echolocating bug detectors.
Echolocating clicks pass through a fatty structure at the front of their skulls called the melon.
The skeleton lacks all three bony features of the ear and throat that all of today's echolocating bats possess.
In a series of similar experiments, two such preparations with a small and a large katydid respectively, were positioned simultaneously next to each other (distance less than 10 cm), so that they perceived the same stimulation from echolocating bats.
Acoustic detectors record the high-frequency sounds emitted by echolocating bats without needing to capture, handle, alter the behaviors of, or otherwise stress the bats being monitored.
And so one possibility is he is echolocating on that and he is 'seeing' the behaviour with sound," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
But at the same time the bat lacks the ear and throat features common to all echolocating bats.