Bats have fascinated scientists for years with their echolocation capabilities. We have learned that bats can not only find prey such as insects in flight with their radar skills, but they can also maneuver through caves and trees with great ease.
But how do bats navigate over long distances?
This question has plagued researchers for years and through small laboratory experiments they began to suspect the bats had some type of internal map that they followed. But how does one test that in the wild?
A group of researchers in Israel set out to find a way to track and test the bats in the wild and track their movements. They developed a mini GPS system weighing only 10 grams (or only 0.35 oz.) that they were able to secure onto Egyptian fruit bats. The GPS devices relayed the location of the bats to the researchers.
They discovered that the bats returned to the same fruit trees every night, often bypassing similar fruit trees in their path. They also learned that the bats flew in a straight line directly to the trees which were between 7 to 15 miles from their cave.
It was suggested that the bats may use some sort of site navigation in recognizing distinct landmarks or lights, so the researchers took some of the bats to an area about 25 miles south of their cave. They released some of the bats and found they still flew directly to their favorite fruit trees. The remaining bats were fed and held until nearly dawn. When they were released, they flew in a direct line back to their cave.
Again it was suggested that they may be using vision and landmarks so the bats were now transported over 50 miles south of their cave and released at dusk. Once more they flew directly to their favorite fruit trees. However some of the bats were release in a crater and did not have a line of sight to the distant horizon. These bats took a little bit to find their way out of the crater, but once outside the crater walls, they flew in a straight line to their favorite fruit trees.
This has led the researchers to believe that the bats use a combination of sight and some type of cognitive internal map that covers a broad area, probably exceeding 60 miles in size.
Not only did God design bats with their very sophisticated echolocation system, but He also designed them with the ability to created and utilize internal maps in their tiny little brains.
Perhaps the next time someone says you’re batty, you should thank them for the compliment and then take the opportunity to share with them God’s marvelous design features that He gave the bats.
Fruit Bats Use Internal Maps to Navigate, RedOrbit.com, Aug. 16, 2011.
Today, the ID (intelligent design) movement is capturing headlines (and igniting controversy) around the world. But in the process, many are coming to think that a credible challenge to the dominant Darwinian naturalism of our time means backing away from a clear stand for the truth of the Bible.
Now creationist heavyweight Jonathan Sarfati, whose Refuting Evolution has the most copies in print of any creation book ever, challenges this mindset head on. In the process, By Design is set to become a classic of the creation movementin the same vein as Dr Sarfatis comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence.
What others are saying about this book…
Brilliant, deep and engaging the battle at the front linesclassic Sarfati!
Dr David Catchpoole, Ph.D., plant physiologist
When master logician/scientist Jonathan Sarfati takes on another front of the creation/evolution battle, his fans know theyre going to experience an intellectual feast of cut-and- thrust philosophical swordsmanship with the opponents of Genesis creation/ID. But readers are in for an additional treat, toohis passion (not revealed in his previous books) for digging into the details of lifes breathtaking designs.
Dr Carl Wieland, Managing Director,
Creation Ministries International (Australia)