Performance of Airborne Biosonar Systems: II. Vertebrates Other than Microchiroptera

  • O. W. HensonJr.
  • H.-U. Schnitzler
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (volume 28)


Biosonar is a means by which some vertebrates gain information about obstacles and prey or other aspects of their environment. It occurs in a variety of forms and it is accomplished by the emission of brief signals and the subsequent perception and analysis of echoes. It allows animals living under conditions of limited visibility or with limited vision to obtain information that may not be available or fully appreciated through other sensory systems. Among terrestrial vertebrates the most sophisticated biosonar systems are encountered in the Microchiroptera and indeed their lives are dependent upon their acoustic orientation capacities. By listening to echoes they can assess the distance, direction, size, texture, shape and movement of obstacles and/or prey. The performance of the refined biosonar systems in these animals is the subject of the second part of this review. The first part will examine the echolocative capacities of terrestrial vertebrates whose lives are much less dependent on biosonar and which have less sophisticated biosonar systems than Microchiroptera.


Blind Subject Sonar System Blind Person Sonar Signal Facial Vision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. W. HensonJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  • H.-U. Schnitzler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Philipps-UniversitätLahnbergeGermany

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