Sonar tracking of horizontally moving targets by the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus

Science  14 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4705, pp. 1331-1333
DOI: 10.1126/science.4001947


When following a moving target, echolocating bats (Eptesicus fuscus) keep their heads aimed at the target's position.This tracking behavior seems not to involve predicting the target's trajectory, but is achieved by the bat's pointing its head at the target's last known position. The bat obtains frequent position updates by emitting sonar signals at a high rate. After the lag between head and target positions and the nonunity tracking gain were corrected for, bats' tracking accuracy in the horizontal plane was +/- 1.6 degree.