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The melody coming from a mine may be the love song of a silver bat

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan20,2024

The outgoing melody

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Researchers in British Columbia recently discovered that silver-haired bats, which can be found in North America, can play a melody, based on recordings from two old mining sites in British Columbia.< /p>The Canadian Press

Humans, birds and whales are not the only ones who can push the note. A species of bat from British Columbia can also sing, researchers say.

Cori Lausen, one of the study's authors, argues that the silver-tailed bat is only the second bat species in North America whose singing abilities have been documented.

Bats are well known for using echolocation to hunt prey and move around objects, but researchers have recorded the song of some of them in abandoned mines in the West Kootenay region and elsewhere in southern British Columbia. The research, which spanned a decade, also took place in several US states.

The research published last December (New window) ( in English) in the Wildlife Society Bulletinindicates that the exact purpose of the song remains unknown, but that it could be related to courtship or mating. However, other functions cannot be excluded. The song patterns were relatively consistent, the study said.

Lausen said only the Brazilian mastiff, a species of bat, found today primarily in the United States, is known for singing, what the study defines as acoustic vocalizations with distinctive syllable types in series or complex patterns.

Bats typically produce sound pulses and listen for the echoes to find food and avoid crashing into objects. But Cori Lausen, who is also director of bat conservation at Wildlife Conservation of Canada (WCC), believes that some sounds made by the silver-haired bat can only be described as a song.

The latter explains that, in one of the recordings, we can hear two bats echolocating as they fly near each other, before one of them flies close to each other, before one of them flies near each other. between them starts singing.

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Or it could be that the singing bat produces a song that tells the other bats mice to stay away, suggests Cori Lausen.

In some situations, solitary bats have been recorded singing, leaving researchers perplexed. We don't know if there's another bat far away that [the lone bat] is trying to communicate with or if it's just flying around singing to its heart's content, hopefully trying to find a companion somewhere.

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Cori Lausen is the director of bat conservation for Canadian Wildlife Conservation, based in Kalso, British Columbia.

Cori Lausen says it took several years to determine which species of bat was singing.

Then attention focused on silver-haired bats when researchers began catching them in winter in places where they hibernated, and some showed signs of mating, some something unexpected and never before documented for the species, adds the researcher.

The study indicates that more than half of the songs were recorded in winter. We were able to sort of figure out that that's probably what's happening, that they're using this song to attract friends, says Cori Lausen.

But do these bats sing well?

High-pitched sounds cannot be heard by human ears and The recordings were made using an instrument that Cori Lausen calls a bat detector. She says she had to take all the recordings and slow them down 10 times to allow humans to hear the sounds.

The researcher believes the trills and shrill calls of bats are adorable, but admits she's a bit biased.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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