echolocation


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Related to echolocation: 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 ?
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A basic understanding of echolocation and the technology to hear it can take interpretive programs to a whole new level.
Throughout history, the literature reports observations and scientific studies examining the phenomenon of "facial vision": the use of reflected sound, object perception, and echolocation among individuals who are blind or severely visually impaired (Wiener, Welsh, & Blasch, 2010; Thaler, Arnott, & Goodale, 2011).
The results, which were published in the journal Hearing Research, showed that both sighted and blind people with good hearing whave the potential to use echoes to tell where objects are, even if they were completely inexperienced with echolocation.
Among mammals, bats are unique in having independently evolved laryngeal echolocation and nectarivory, both implicated in their unparalleled adaptive radiation.
A workshop inJordan that I am attending is about learning to distinguish bat species viatheir echolocation sounds.
In addition to profiles, distribution maps, and color photographs of the 47 native bat species, chapters consider such topics as echolocation, benefits of insectivorous bats, guano, summer-autumn swarming, winter habitats and hibernation, bats as food, controlling nuisance bats, attracting bats, wind power, conservation, thermal imaging, radiotelemetry, and acoustic identification.