Effects of Echolocation Calls on the Interactions of Bat Pairs using Transfer Entropy Analysis
Shaffer, Irena Marie
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Many animal species, including many species of bats, exhibit collective behavior where groups of individuals coordinate their motion. Most bats are unique among these animals in that they use the active sensing mechanism of echolocation as their primary means of navigation. Due to their use of echolocation in large groups, bats run the risk of signal interference from sonar jamming. However, several species of bats have developed various strategies to prevent interference which may lead to different behavior when flying with conspecifics than when flying alone. This thesis seeks to explore the role of this sensing on the behavior of bat pairs flying together. Field data from a maternity colony of gray bats (Myotis grisescens) were collected using an array of cameras and microphones. These data were analyzed using the information theoretic measure of transfer entropy in order to quantify the interaction between pairs of bats and to determine the effect echolocation calls have on this interaction. Results show that there is evidence of information transfer in both the speed of the bats and their turning behavior, and that such evidence is absent when we consider their heading directions. Unidirectional information transfer was found in some subsets of the data which could be evidence of a leader-follower interaction.
General Audience Abstract
Manyanimalspeciesexhibitcollectivebehaviorwheregroupsofanimalscoordinatetheir motion, as in flocking or schooling. Many species of bats also demonstrate this behavior. Bats are unique among these animals in that they use echolocation as their primary means of navigation. Bats produce ultrasonic pulses or calls and listen to the returning echo to "visualize" their environment. Bats using echolocation in large groups run the risk of other bat calls interfering with their ability to hear their own calls. They have developed various waystopreventinterferencewhichmayleadtodifferentbehaviorwhenflyingwithotherbats thanwhenflyingalone. Fielddatafromamaternitycolonyofgraybatswerecollectedusing a system of cameras and microphones. These data were analyzed to quantify the interaction between pairs of bats and to determine the effect echolocation calls have on this interaction. Results show that there is evidence of information transfer about both the speed of the bats and their turning behavior. There was also evidence of a possible leader-follower interaction in some subsets of the data.
- Masters Theses