Monday, May 15, 2006


Echolocation is the skill to see through sound. The good examples of animals that use echolocation are bats and whales. Those animals use ultra-high frequency sound for navigation. To understand how echolocation works, imagine an echo-canyon. If you stand on the edge of a canyon and shout, hello!! you will hear your own voice coming back to you an immediate later. Animals that use echolocation release calls out to the environment. Echolocation is the method of sensory awareness. By using echolocation animals can communicate with others using echolocation methods and they can also know animals surrounding that areas. Animals that use echolocation, they use echoes to locate, to range and to identify the objects. Echolocation is used in various environments for foraging. Now lets look at bats as an example of animals that uses echolocation.

Most of the bats use echolocation to find their food. Some they use sound to find food and find the way in the dark. Although Bats emitted high sound. Which means bats can send out high frequency. By sending this high frequency they can listen for the echoes to locate their prey. They send these sound waves by using their mouth and even nose. Then the sound hits an object, echo can comes back and the bats can identify an object by the sound of the echo.

However, most bats see very well. They can also see in the dark by listening to the echoes. They are listening to the echoes of high frequency calls. Because of this system they can catch up the insects and choose one they like." Those bats that can see very well, echolocation can help them to find their prey in the dark. Those bats that eat frogs, fish and insects use echolocation to find their prey”(2). After emitting a sound they use echolocation even in darkness. Because of this process of echolocation it is easy for bats to find the distance and direction.

On the other hands, those bats that eat fruits they do not use echolocation to find food; they use eyesight and smell for finding food. One good examples of those that use echolocation, if you see thousands of bats flying out of cave, they use echolocation of noise. Different bats use different patterns of echolocation.

Whales is an another examples of animals that use echolocation.Whales are large, and are aquatic mammals. Toothed whales used echolocation to sense objects. Toothed Whales also sent out high sound and those sounds are bounches off the objects. The sounds that are produced whales are used to communicate. They use sound by sending out a ray of sound. When the sound of echo came back, those sounds are picked up by the lower jaws. “Remember that, the lower jawbones of whales are fat and are empty and it helps the sound to pass through the jawbones to the middle ear and auditory nerve”(1).Whales sent out high-pitched sound. The sound bounches off, and then object and some returns to the whale. This returning echo to determine the object shapes direction, distance and texture.

They are some whales that do not use echolocation but it may either find their prey by listening. Some toothed whales prey on fish, and marine mammals. They prey on fish using echolocation. Remember that echolocation helps an animal to navigate in water. Finally, the highest sound produces a more detailed of an object to animals that use echolocation because the sound wave is shorter. The opposite is the same. A lower sound travels into water because the wave’s length is longer and can be used to detect distance or larger objects. Water is an excellent sound transmitter. “Whales have capitalized on this water to compensate for reduced visions in cloudy water of the sea”.(3)


1. Wikipedia contributors. Echolocation [Internet] Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia 2006 May 07, 18: 16 UTC [cited May 15, 16: 10]. Available from:
2. Roth, J. 2006. Echolocation. [Online]. Available: [2006, May 14]
3. Max, J. 1995. Fishin for facts: Echolocation. [Online]. Available: [2006, May 14]

4. Wikipedia contributors. Echolocation [Internet] Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia 2006 May 13, 00: 49 UTC [cited May 15, 16: 10]. Available from:

Linette Netshiheni
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  • Some plagiarism here... Also, why did you use footnotes at some times, and direct hyperlinks at others?


    By Blogger NcK, at May 29, 2006 3:23 PM  

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