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Animal echolocation

Animal Echolocation

Some animals use sound waves to locate objects including obstacles and prey. This sense is known as echolocation, and is used by the bat, dolphin and some whales.

Besides emitting ultrasonic pulses, bats employ two kinds of saccades.

  • Position (mechanical translation) saccades: moving the body, the head, or the ear flaps from side to side
  • Frequency saccades: varying the frequency depending on ambient conditions
Both kinds of saccades result in improvement of the spatial information (distance and location) and resolution.

For a comprehensive description of the echolation used by bats see microbat.

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