What Sounds Do Bats Make
Bats are without a doubt one of the most feared creatures in the animal kingdom. These critters might be small and only come out at night, but they are known for packing quite the punch. The fear probably has something to do with all the Hollywood hype surrounding the species.
Bats are most commonly associated with vampires and other mythical horror stories. Along with this and their propensity to carry and transmit rabies, it only makes sense that one would fear the bat. What’s even more troubling is that bat infestations are not uncommon any more.
That’s right, more and more bat infestations are being reported by homeowners every year. It seems they don’t just prefer the caves and dungeons anymore. A good cellar or attic might do the trick.
All that aside, if you are dealing with a bat infestation, it’ll be something that you’ll want to jump on quickly. Of course, if you are hearing animal noises in your home anywhere, you’ll want to get someone on the issue right away. However, knowing if you are dealing with bats or not can help you get one step ahead.
It might even give you the confidence and ability to handle the problem without the assistance of professional help.
[Related Article: Do Bats Have Tails]
Understanding Why Bats Make Noises
Despite what you might think or read on the Internet, bats are rather quiet creatures. They are nocturnal so they only come and go during the night. In fact, they’ll try to make it an effort to be as quiet as they possibly can so they don’t give away their position. When it comes right down to it, bats are rather smart in these terms.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they don’t make noises. In fact, they have to, otherwise, they would not be able to get around or communicate. You’ve likely heard the phrase – blind as a bat. Well, there was a reason that this phrase was coined.
Although bats are not completely blind, they do have a hard time seeing. This is why they utilize and rely on sound. By producing and listening to the resulting echoes, bats can paint a rich picture of their surroundings in complete darkness. This is a process that is commonly referred to as echolocation.
Echolocation is a pertinent skill for the bat that will allow him to navigate anywhere without any visual input. Another very important thing to note is that bats can actually be distinguished by their sounds.
Most of the time they produce ultrasonic sounds that are too high for humans to hear. This gives them the ability to communicate with their species without the fear of being caught.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that bats don’t make noises that humans can’t hear. Bats will oftentimes make noises or clicks that humans can hear. They just have the option of communicating with ultrasonic waves if they so choose to do so. They produce clicks and ultrasonic waves for a variety of different reasons.
If they want to alert or warn other members of danger or communicate without fear of being caught, they might transmit ultrasonic waves. On the other hand, they will also use different mechanisms including their voice boxes to generate sounds through their nostrils.
They’ll also commonly click their tongues. They make all of these noises to communicate and express emotion.
What Exactly Do Bats Sound Like?
Echolocation is by far one of the bat’s most useful skills, and it is one that he’ll find himself relying on more often than not. When bats are utilizing echolocation, they’ll be using their vocal cords and larynx to produce these noises. This is extremely similar to the way that a human uses his vocal cords and larynx to speak.
Different species of bats give off distinctive sounds, so an expert could possibly identify a bat species just by hearing the sounds that it makes. While this would be extremely difficult, it is not entirely impossible.
It would be difficult because to most people, these noises just sound like clicks. If one was to utilize bat record software and slow down the noises they would sound similar to that of a bird’s chirp but just with a much noticeably different tone.
There are some bats that don’t even use their vocal cords at all to produce calls. Instead, they will utilize their tongues or emit sounds from their nostrils. Some bats might even use their wings to make clicking noises. On a side note, the exact process in which bats click with their wings in highly debated topic amongst the scientific community.
Some will say that it is the wings clapping together that produce the clicking noise, while some scientists will say that it is the bones in the wings snapping and making the clicking noise.
Some say it is the wings slapping against the body of the bat that makes the clicking noises. Whatever the situation is and however they are doing it, this is a sound that is extremely similar to that of clicking. At the end of the day, it’ll sound just like a traditional click, regardless of how it is produced.
Ever wonder if bats have tails? yea me neither but if you want to find out, check out this article I wrote here, Bat Tails.
The Ultrasonic Sounds
You learned earlier that bats also make ultrasonic sounds. This is, in fact, true, but these sounds are emitted at such a high frequency that it is impossible to hear them with the human ear. Humans can only hear sounds that are rated between 20 and 20,000 Hz.
The ultrasonic sounds that bats are capable of generating are typically two to three times higher than 20,000 Hz. While it might seem like bats would communicate like this to stay undetected, this is not always the case. However, there are other benefits to this type of communication.
First, the wavelengths of this sound are much shorter than the other sounds that bats are capable of producing. This simply means that they’ll likely bounce back to the bat, rather than bending around other objects.
These sounds also require much less energy for the bat to produce. Along with this, these sounds do not remain in the air that long. This means that other bats can easily and distinctively interrupt newer sounds from older sounds that might still be echoing in the area.
Although feared, known for transmitting rabies, and capable of leaving toxic droppings everywhere, the bat truly is a unique, one of a kind creature. You can clearly see that with the way that it chooses to make sounds. Bats not only utilize the skills for communication, but they use them for traveling as well as locating targets.
Bat calls and bat communication has grown to become such a phenomenon over the years that people have started recording these litter critters.