Bats imitate wasps when owls are nearby

MeN animals Kingdom, impersonator is a dozen dimes. Stick insects pretend to be twigs. Hawk moth caterpillars resemble venomous snakes. Edible heliconide butterflies disguise themselves as feather patterns of harmful things, copying harmful things to each other to make it easier for predators to learn what they don’t eat.

However, all of these examples are visual. Hearing imitation is rare.But as he explains Current biologyDanilo Russo, University of Naples Federico II, believes he has discovered the new case. He believes that some bats imitate angry bees, wasps, and wasps to drive away owls that might otherwise eat them.

Dr. Russo first noticed a tendency for Greater Mouse-eared Bats to crow a few years ago when he was collecting bats on mist nets to study ecology. The noise hit him in a manner similar to the sound of wasps inhabiting the region of Southern Italy where he worked. It wondered if the bat sounds were a form of mimicry that helped the practitioner drive away from becoming a predator.

To test this idea, he and Federico II’s colleague Leonardo Ansilott first recorded a humming sound of a bat that was made when it was handled. Then, after wearing proper protective clothing, they embarked on a more dangerous task than recording the buzzing that took place. collect, 4 types of Hymenoptera: European paper wasp; Bombus terrestris; European hornet; and domestic honey bee. Computer analysis reveals that Hymenoptera and Hymenoptera bats are certainly similar.

For the next part of their experiment, Dr. Russo and Dr. Ansilott recruited services for 16 captive owls (8 barns and 8 tans). Both of these species are known to hunt bats.

Researchers placed the owls one at a time in an enclosure with a branch to stop and two boxes with holes. The box resembled a hollow tree like an owl searching for food in the wild. They placed a speaker in one of the boxes, and after the bird settled, they broadcast an uninterrupted bat sound for 5 seconds and the same amount of insect sound three times in a row for each noise. As a control, they also broadcast some non-booon sounds made by bats.

During the broadcast (occurring in random order) and for the next 5 minutes, they took a video of the owl. The video was then analyzed by an independent observer without the benefit of the soundtrack. The result was clear. When I heard both the bat bark and the wasp bark, the owl moved as far as possible from the speaker. In contrast, they were approaching when they heard the sound of bats without a humming sound.

Dr. Russo and Dr. Ancillotto believe that this is the first reported example of mammals using acoustic mimicry to ward off predators. But they strongly doubt that it is not unique. Anecdotes suggest that a few birds and small mammals such as dormouses (especially species that live in rock cavities like dormouses) make a humming noise when the hidden holes are disturbed. It is not officially documented as an acoustic imitation. However, given that poisonous insects also tend to inhabit such places, and that these insects can occur in other species (including humans), Dr. Russo may be doing this. I think. Therefore, he predicts that recording and analyzing these other topics will show that the acoustic imitation of vertebrate stinging insects is far more extensive than currently realized. .. ■■

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Bats imitate wasps when owls are nearby

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