Animal Sonar pp 467-470 | Cite as

Prey Interception: Predictive and Nonpredictive Strategies

  • W. Mitchell Masters
Part of the NATO ASI Science book series (NSSA, volume 156)


Insectivorous bats use echolocation as their sole source of information to detect, locate, approach and capture flying insects. Although the sequence of behaviors they go through is relatively sterotyped (Webster, 1967b; Kick and Simmons, 1984), much remains unknown about how bats accomplish this incredible feat. I am particularly concerned here with what bats do with the positional information they obtain about a target by echolocation: how does a bat choose its flight path so as eventually to intercept the target?


Flight Path Automatic Gain Control Flight Speed Turn Radius Predictive Strategy 
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. Cahlander, D. A, and F. A. Webster, 1960, The bat’s reaction time, MIT Lincoln Lab. Report No. 47G - 0008.Google Scholar
  2. Kick, S. A., and J. A. Simmons, 1984, Automatic gain control in the bat’s sonar receiver and the neuroethology of echolocation, J. Neurosci., 4: 2725.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Masters, W. M, A. J. M. Moffat, and J. A. Simmons, 1985, Sonar tracking of horizontally moving targets by the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus, Science, 228: 1331.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Webster, F. A., 1967a, Interception performance of echolocating bats in the presence of interference, in: “Animal Sonar Systems,” R.-G. Busnel, ed., Lab. Physiol. Acoust., Jouy-en-Josas, France.Google Scholar
  5. Webster, F. A., 1967b, Some acoustical differences between bats and men, in: “International Converence on Sensory Devices for the Blind,” R. Dufton, ed., St. Dunstan’s, London.Google Scholar
  6. Webster, F. A., and O. G. Brazier, 1965, Experimental studies on target detection, evaluation and interception by echolocating bats, U.S. Air Force Tech. Documentation Report No. AMRL-TR-67–192.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Mitchell Masters
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations