“Monsters of Science” is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell neighborhoods in all their freshness. But also in all its complexities. Arch to marvel at the treasures of the world. In this new episode, let’s take a look at an animal with a reputation for sulfur: the bat.
Bat answers the phone. Have you seen this before? of course no. But before we find out if researchers have seen it, let’s take a few seconds to get to know the beast. In many cultures, it is associated with death. To the legend of vampires. Until now types of bats To suck blood is extremely rare. Even more than those who value human blood. They will be no more than three. They all live in South America. And to protect yourself, a simple mosquito net is enough!
On the other hand, it is true that bats are now real repositories of viruses. Many of them can be dangerous to us. Unfortunately, the information made headlines on the occasion of covid-19 pandemic. Because several Corona Virus They are already recognized in bats. Never, however, a species that lives in France.
But the bat is not just that. The bat is too Amazing little mammal. The only person gifted with an active journey, to begin with. Thanks funny suite. A type of hand with rectangular fingers attached to a thin membrane of skin. A kind of giant hand that wraps itself in comfort to isolate itself from the outside environment.
The bat is also an animal with a rather amazing memory. At this point, the phone is back. But to understand how researchers discovered it, you must first know that bats Trachops cirrhosus They do not hunt by eye, but by ear. It is able to distinguish between the cry of a frog or an insect Toxic First.
Good memory is a sign of intelligence?
What the researchers wanted to know was whether bats Trachops cirrhosus They are also able to perfectly distinguish artificial sounds. subordinate phone ringtones, as it happens. For this, they worked with about fifty wild specimens. They’ve gradually replaced the mating call of one of these little creatures’ favorite frogs with a very classic cell phone ringtone. They also played three more tunes. This time, however, they did not associate a food reward.
After the learning was completed, the bats were released. Not without it being chopped up, so researchers can find it later. And after four years – remember that some bats can live more than 30 years. Then the researchers noticed that when they heard the famous ringtone, which made them so happy, they rushed towards it. Behavior he did not adopt with an unknown ringtone. But all the same regularly also with the bells of the Three Witnesses which they had already heard four years ago.
The researchers were surprised. Because having a long-term memory can be beneficial for animals. This prevents them from repeating learning and mistakes. It also allows them to take advantage of even the rarest prey when it comes. But there is a file long-term memory Expensive too. metabolism occurs. This crowds certain energy. This can slow down the decision-making process. So finally, isn’t the bat really stupid? Or is four years not too long to cling to the memory of a phone ringing that you may never hear again? At what point does this kind of skill really help the animals and at what point can it be a hindrance? This is what the researchers hope to be able to determine in the future.
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