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What is Echolocation?

UK Safari Tip:
A bat detector allows you to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats and identify species - click here


Echolocation is the ability to locate objects by bouncing sound waves off of them, and then measuring the time taken for an echo to return, and calculating the direction the echo came from.

Bats use echolocation to find their way around in the dark, and to locate their food.

They send out sound waves which they create by using their mouth or nose. When the sound goes out it hits an object and an echo bounces back to the bat.

From this echo, the bat can identify the location, the size, the shape and even the texture of the object.

These sound waves are very high-pitched, and most humans are unable to hear them. A device called a bat detector is able to pick up these sounds and convert them into sounds which we can hear as a series of clicks, pops and whistles.

Track Down More Info

Bat Identification Charts
Bat Calls on CD - Learn to Identify Different Species
Bat Detectors
UK Safari Bat Section
What is a bat?
What does a bat sound like?
What is a tragus?
Links to Bat Groups in Britain

Bat Conservation Trust national (UK) helpline: 0845 130 0228 (9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5:30pm Mon - Fri except Bank Holidays.

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved