Written by Dina K. N. DECHMANN, Kamran SAFI on . Posted in Special issue: Studying Communication In Animals, Guest Editor: Alina S. RUSU, Volume IX, Nr. 3


Only a handful of publications exist on social communication in bats, despite the high numbers of species and ecological diversity in this order. Historically methodological limitations for the study of these nocturnal and evasive animals were largely responsible for the lack of investigations of bat communication. However, nowadays, modern technologies and methods are being used on other groups of animals and would also be suitable for the study of bats. In this paper we review the literature on bat communication, mentioning work from other fields of research such as ecology, if the methods could potentially be used for the investigation of communication. We focus on olfactory communication because this is the field where most information is available beside acoustic communication. In addition there is great potential for the design of experiments here that would yield relevant results not only for the better understanding of bats, but of mammals or even sociality in general.

Keywords: Chiroptera, olfaction, interspecific, intraspecific, echolocation, eavesdropping, social behaviour