These Cute Bats Reveal Something They Have In Common With You, Dogs And Cats
Witchcraft, black magic, vampires: Dark things come to mind when you think of bats. It all falls apart, though, when you watch how adorable they look waggling their heads.
Head waggling and ear wiggling is something that cats and dogs do as they zoom in on a target or just listen to you. That’s what Melville Wohlgemuth, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins, noticed in his pug. He then saw that the bats he studied, too, cocked their heads from side to side.
“I have a pug, and any time I would talk to him he would do this head-tilting behavior. When I saw it in my bats I thought, ‘What is this funny little thing that they do?’” Wohlgemuth said. “After more investigation I realized that of course, there’s a purpose to it.”
It turns out the bats cock their heads to the side when they are targeting prey. The movements of the head are synched with the bat’s vocalization and improves the precision with which they localize their target, according to the findings published Thursday in PLOS Biology.