Friday, May 16, 2014

Echolocation Explanation

Echolocation is something used by animals such as dolphins, bats, whales, birds and shrews to help them find objects using sound. The animals send out a short high pitched sounds and if the sound rebounds back, they know that there is a object in front of them.

Bats have medium vision in the dark, not like other night species who can see perfectly which is why bats need to use echolocation.There are over 900 different kinds of bats worldwide, they are grouped into 2 main groups; Microbats and Megabats. Recently we have been learning about nectar eating bats, Glossophaga Commissaries who of course, eat nectar and help the flowers with pollination. The bats use echolocation lots to find the flowers to get the nectar from them. The nectar eating bats send out short swift bursts through their nostrils or mouths which rebound off the flower and go back to the bats sensitive ears, showing them exactly where the flower is.

But echolocation isn’t just for animals, there is a boy named Ben who is blind but can see using echolocation. He has been blind since he was three years old when he got cancer in his eyes and had to get them removed. Since then he has taught himself how to see things. He sends out short swift sounds just like the bats and the sound rebounds off the object in front of him. Ben did it so much that now he skates freely and he can actually play basketball and get a goal in.

I think that echolocation is a great thing to have for all species, humans including. It helps them so much for everything they do and I think that Ben is very fortunate to have found that out for himself at a young age. (He was only 7 years old when he found echolocation and learnt how to do it).  Perhaps there is more to be discovered and used more fully with all of our senses than we actually use.

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