Experts on bats have been wondering why the flying mammals hunt in groups. Now, recordings by Tel Aviv University researchers of bat voices during more than 1,100 interactions among them has provided the answer. They reported their findings in a recent issue of Current Biology.
When a bat seeks food at night, it depends on its sonar echoes to find and catch its prey. As Dr. Yossi Yovel and student Noam Cvikel of the zoology department put it, “It’s the ‘Bamba effect.’ In a dark theater, when somebody starts eating the peanut snack, everybody knows somebody is eating it and more or less where he is. Bats work in a similar way.”