Bat Banter

Computers Decipher Animal Language




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The Egyptian fruit bat is a highly social mammal that roosts in crowded colonies. A machine learning algorithm helped decode their squeaks, revealing that they speak to one another as individuals. The research appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, discovered that the bats exchange information about specific problems in four categories. Ramin Skibba, at Nature, notes that besides humans, only dolphins and a handful of other species are known to address individuals, rather than making broad, general communication sounds. Studies allow that it may eventually be possible to understand nuanced communications in other species.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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