The extraordinary nose of the Bourret horseshoe bat, much longer than the noses of closely related bat species, was long a mystery to scientists. However, in a paper published earlier this year researchers made a very convincing case that this bat’s unusual nose is used to enhance its food-finding abilities. Like many other bats, the Bourret bat locates its insect prey through echolocation – a type of natural sonar. It’s unusual nose is shaped so as to more effectively channel the high-pitched squeaks that the bat uses in echolocation. Thanks to its nose shape, the bat can effectively pinpoint an insect’s position with a series of relatively small sounds.
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