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October 2, 2011 / availableworld

Bats Have Superfast Muscles – A Mammal First


A flying Daubenton’s bat is captured in multiple stages during a single exposure with multiple flashes.

Photograph courtesy Lasse Jakobsen and Coen Elemans

Holy bat buzz, Batman—a new study shows the night flyers are the first known mammals with superfast muscles.

 

Found in some songbirds and snakes, superfast muscles in bats occur in the throat and enable a crucial hunting behavior: echolocation, in which the bat sends out sound waves and listens for echoes bouncing off prey.

As a bat closes in on an insect, the mammal emits more than 160 calls a second, a phenomenon called terminal buzz.

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