, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 275-282

Discrimination of surface-structured targets by the echolocating batMyotis myotis during flight

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  1. Myotis myotis was trained to discriminate a plate with 8 mm deep holes from plates of stepwise varied hole depth. Depth differences in the two plates equal or larger than 1 mm were discriminated by the echolocating bat (Fig. 3).

  2. In a second series of experiments a plate with 4 mm deep holes was discriminated from other plates with hole depth differences equal or larger than 0.8 mm (Fig. 3).

  3. Echolocation sounds emitted during discrimination are of the same type as those used for catching prey in air or on the ground (Fig. 2). With increasing difficulty of the discrimination task the flight speed of the bat was reduced (Fig. 1).

  4. An incidental experiment disclosed the ability to discriminate surface structures with the resolution of roughness produced by 30 μm protrusions in the surface (Fig. 4).

  5. We conclude thatMyotis myotis discriminated hole depth differences by spectral, and not by time, cues in the echoes.