How do bats hunt?

Behavioral Ecology Read more from
Chapter Animal Behavior

Bats hunt a variety of prey. Some bats are insectivores, capable of catching their prey on the wing. Vampire bats hunt for large, slow-moving organisms to use for sustenance. Fruit-eating (frugivorous) bats are adapted to finding ripe fruit distributed throughout the forest. Depending on the food type, bats may rely on their sight and/or echolocation to find their prey. In echolocation, bats emit ultrasonic sounds that bounce off the objects around them. These signals are fielded by the specialized folds of flesh on the face and around the ears, allowing the bat to judge the direction and distance of objects. (For more about bats, see the chapter “Aquatic and Land Animal Diversity.”)


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