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For bats, love is blind – and increasingly loud

Publication Date: 08 September, 2014

 

The Irish Times, Thursday 4 September 

Dick Ahlstrom 

Love at first sight is nice when you want to find a partner, but pity the lovelorn bat. It has to find the love of its life in complete darkness and make a choice on the basis of sound alone.

This means bats aren’t looking for a good mate: they are listening for one, says Prof Emma Teeling, director of the Centre for Irish Bat Research at University College Dublin. She and colleagues in Germany recently provided the first hard evidence that bats use their echolocation systems as a way to find and identify suitable mates.

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