Animal Sonar pp 115-120 | Cite as

Ontogeny of Vocal Signals in the Big Brown Bat, Eptesicus Fuscus

  • Cynthia F. Moss
Part of the NATO ASI Science book series (NSSA, volume 156)


The production of vocal signals by infant bats is important for communication and may play a role in the development of sonar signals used for echolocation. Recordings of infant vocalizations from a variety of species show many similarities, even across different families of bats (e.g. Brown, 1976; Gould, 1971, 1975a, 1979; Matsumura, 1979; Brown and Grinnell, 1980; Brown, Brown and Grinnell, 1983). Young infant bats often emit multiple-harmonic sounds that are lower in frequency than the sounds of conspecific adults. In many species, the infant vocal repertoire includes sounds with relatively constant frequency components which are typically identified as isolation sounds. These sounds often promote approach and retrieval of an infant by its mother (e.g. Davis, Barbour and Hassell, 1968; Gould, 1971, 1975a; Brown, 1976; Thomson, Fenton, and Barclay, 1985).


Superior Laryngeal Nerve Vocal Signal Sonar Signal Cricothyroid Muscle Sound Duration 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brown, P., 1976, Vocal communication in the pallid bat, Antrozous pallidus, Z. Tierpsychol., 41: 34–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown, P. E., and Grinnell, A. D., 1980, Echolocation ontogeny in bats. in “Animal sonar systems,” R. G. Busnel and J. F. Fish, eds., Plenum press, New York, pp. 355–377.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, P. E., Brown, T. W., and Grinnell, A. D., 1983, Echolocation behavior, development, and vocal communication in the lesser bulldog bat, Noctilio albiventris, Behay. Ecol. Sociobiol. 13: 287–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davis, W. H., Barbour, R. W., and Hassell, M. D., 1968, Colonial behavior of Eptesicus fuscus, J. Mammalogy, 49: 44–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gould, E., 1971, Studies of maternal-infant communication and development of vocalizations in the bats Myotis and Eptesicus, Communications in behavioral biology, Part A, 5, No. 5, pp. 263–313.Google Scholar
  6. Gould, E., 1975a, Neonatal vocalizations in bats of eight genera, J. Mammalogy, 56: 15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gould, E., 1975b, Experimental studies of the ontogeny of ultrasonic vocalizations in bats, Develop. Psychobiol., 8: 333–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gould, E., 1979, Neonatal vocalizations of ten species of Malaysian bats ( Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera ), Amer. Zool., 19: 481–491.Google Scholar
  9. Kick, S. A., 1982, Target-detection by the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus, J. Comp. Physiol., 145: 431–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kick, S. A., and Simmons, J. A., 1984, Automatic gain control in the bat’s sonar receiver and the neuroethology of echolocation, J. Neuroscience, 4: 2725–2737.Google Scholar
  11. Matsumura, S., 1979, Mother-infant communication in a horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum nippon): Development of vocalization, J. Mammalogy, 60: 76–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Novick, A., and Griffin, D. R., 1961, Laryngeal mechanisms in bats for the production of orientation sounds, J. Exp. Zool., 148: 125–146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Simmons, J. A., 1973, The resolution of target range by echolocating bats, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 54: 157–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Simmons, J. A., and Vernon, J. A., 1971, Echolocation: Discrimination of targets by the bat, Eptesicus fuscus, J. Exp. Zool., 176: 315–328.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Suthers, R. A., and Fattu, J. M., 1973, Mechanisms of sound production by echolocating bats, Amer. Zool., 13: 1215–1226.Google Scholar
  16. Suthers, R. A., and Fattu, J. M., 1982, Selective laryngeal neurotomy and the control of phonation by the echolocating bat, Eptesicus, J. Comp. Physiol., 145: 529–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Thomson, C. E., Fenton, M. B., and Barclay, R. M. R., 1985, The role of infant isolation calls in mother-infant reunions in the little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae ), Canadian J. Zool., 63: 1982–1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia F. Moss
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl ZoophysiologieUniversität TübingenTübingenF.R. Germany

Personalised recommendations