Many animals have their own way of calling out to one another. These cries give useful information about the animal. The same is true with bats, as bat calls have much information.
Bats are very social, much like most mammals. Many live in large colonies that have thousands of members. Many bats have a variety of vocalizations that they use for communication, though such vocalizations have not been studied in detail yet.
Professor Yossi Yovel from the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University is leading the research into bat communication. He has said that bats make a lot of noise inside caves. This noise might seem unintelligible to humans, but it might be that bats are communicating to each other, he observed.
He has said that previous studies have shown that much of bat communication involved screaming and shouting, but so far, the noise has not been studied thoroughly. For the research, two students from Professor Yovel's lab have recorded bat communication. Mor Taub and Yosef Prat have recorded the sounds of 22 Egyptian fruit bats in 75 days. The recordings were then analyzed for possible clues.
The study has found that the vocalizations can mark the identity of the bat making the sound, according to Tel Aviv University's site. The researchers were also able to make out which sound could mean fighting over food or else when they fight for sleep space, among others. Professor Yovel sees the importance of studying bat communication as it can lead to understanding how human communication has evolved.
In the research, he has said that since bats can recognize each other, there is a recognition factor involved in the calls. Bats call to each other in darkness, and even without light they could make out one member from another simply through its sound. There is also different intonation used for a friend and a foe, as Science Daily reports.
Bats are social. Learning how they communicate can help people understand them better. Bat calls have much information, as the study suggests. There is also an effort to communicate with extraterrestrials being made.