The Egyptian fruit bat has at least a thousand vocalizations, all of which mean basically the same thing: “Move!”
If you're going to live in a colony of up to 50,000 individuals, bickering and jostling for space is pretty much a given. But the chaos has an additional benefit: It's crucial for a baby bat’s language development, according to research led by Tel Aviv University neuroecologist Yossi Yovel.
That discovery also got him wondering: Are mothers or the collective cacophony of the colony more effective in teaching young bats how to communicate? (See 16 pictures of bats, just in time for Halloween.)
The colony wins out, according to a new study published October 31 in PLOS Biology.
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