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I Know It's There, I Can Hear It

on June 9, 2008

Bats use echolocation, seeing by sound.

Bats Use Echolocation

Bats are normally seen flying at night (they are nocturnal). So, how do bats find their dinner in the dark?

Once again, we see God’s handiwork in these amazing animals. They get along just fine at night, and it isn’t because of their keen eyesight.

They use echolocation—seeing by sound.

Imagine you are standing at the edge of a canyon, and you shout, “Hello!” Your voice makes sound waves that bounce off the canyon walls and come back to you just an instant later.

That’s what bats do, too. They make a noise out of their mouth or nose (it sounds like a chirp, a click, a squeak, or a squeal). When it hits the object, an echo comes back. By listening carefully with its sensitive ears, the bat can tell the shape and size of the tiniest insect, just by the sound of the echo.

By the way, humans can’t normally hear the sounds bats make because the pitch of their “chirp” is much higher than the pitch we can hear with our ears.