Bats have longer memories than some think. Fringed-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus) It feeds on insects and frogs that it finds by following its mating calls. The animals have learned to distinguish between the calls of different frog species so as not to eat poisonous prey. Now there is evidence for how long a bat brain stores this information, As a team in the “Current Biology” journal.
To test the memory, May Dixon and colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues trained hunted bats to respond to a specific ringtone. To do this, they made the animals attack the small fish that were placed on a loudspeaker. The team then released the bats into the wild and recovered eight of them one to four years later.
To test if they would remember their training, the eight bats heard the ringtone again. Almost all previously hunted animals pounce on their prey, while untrained bats caught in the wild gnaw at their ears.
The researchers say that remembering the sounds, even years later, can help bats hunt rare prey or find frogs to mate with.
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