Acoustic Effects Accurately Predict an Extreme Case of Biological Morphology

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Date
2009-07-17
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
American Physical Society
Abstract

The biosonar system of bats utilizes physical baffle shapes around the sites of ultrasound emission for diffraction-based beam forming. Among these shapes, some extreme cases have evolved that include a long noseleaf protrusion (sella) in a species of horseshoe bat. We have evaluated the acoustic cost function associated with sella length with a computational physics approach and found that the extreme length can be predicted accurately from a fiducial point on this function. This suggests that some extreme cases of biological morphology can be explained from their physical function alone.

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Keywords
Horseshoe bat, Echolocation, Ferrumequinum, Evolution, Noseleaf, Physics
Citation
Zhang, Zhiwei ; Truong, Son Nguyen ; Mueller, Rolf, Jul 17, 2009. “Acoustic Effects Accurately Predict an Extreme Case of Biological Morphology,” PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 103(3): 038701. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.038701