Moths Can Escape Bats By Jamming Sonar

For over 50 million years, bats and moths have been engaged in an evolutionary arms race: bats evolving new tricks to catch moths, and moths developing counter-measures to escape bats. William Conner, a biologist at Wake Forest University, studies this interaction by filming bat attacks. He and his colleagues report on a new weapon in the moth arsenal: the tiger moth’s ability to make sounds that interfere with a bat’s ability to echolocate its prey.


Video footage: Jesse Barber, Nickolay Hristov, Science, PNAS, Barber and Conner, 2007. Images: Nickolay Hristov, William Conner, Bryant Deroy

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Flora Lichtman is host of The Adaptors podcast and former SciFri multimedia producer in New York, New York.

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