Bats don't mess around when it comes to food fights—they can prevent rivals from snagging prey by emitting a noise that essentially jams the other bat's sonar.
One researcher discovered the tactic for the first time among the Mexican free-tailed bat, which, like all bats, uses "echolocation" to find its food, reports National Geographic.
The University of Maryland scientist was studying how a species of moth jammed the sonar of the big brown bat with ultrasonic clicks when he noticed that calls coming from Mexican free-tailed bats nearby were similar.
He reviewed hours of audio to confirm the discovery. Researchers found that if they played one of 15 different calls from the free-tailed bat when another bat was emitting a "feeding buzz"—the noise that follows frequent echolocation pings as a bat closes in on prey—the hunter bat was up to 86% less likely to snatch up the meal, Smithsonian reports.
(Too bad sonar can't help bats avoid this killing machine.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: In Bat Battles, Rivals Jam Each Other's SonarMore From Newser
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