Echo location question

A great question from one of the visitors at my program today:  How far does echo location work to the periphery?  Obviously it works straight ahead of the bat pretty well, 3-5 meters, right?  But how far to the side, if any, does a bat’s echo location “peripheral vision” extend?

 

2 thoughts on “Echo location question

  1. Is this myth or fact: I’ve heard bumps and curves on bats’ faces are part of how they collect and interpret the echoes, the sound bouncing back at them. Bats are different sizes and their “faces” and heads are different shapes, so the capacity for peripheral echolocation might vary too. It is a good question. Gotta ask visitors how they’d go about finding out. The wind tunnel might be too narrow to be a helpful setup for answering this type of question.

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