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July 2009

Plants are very important in a bat's everyday life. They serve both as informative landmarks that a bat should use and as obstacles that it should avoid. An echolocating bat can use and avoid plants in complete darkness, using echolocation and relying on plant echoes. In this work the authors study the characteristics of plant echoes (see Yovel et al., 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000429). They analyze the relation between the physical properties of a plant (e.g., its leaf size and density) and its echo, and examine the influence of the bat's sensory system on the echoes.

Image Credit: Dietmar Nill.

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