The sound emission pattern and the acoustical role of the noseleaf in the echolocating bat, Carollia perspicillata

David J. Hartley, Roderick A. Suthers

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Carollia perspicillata (Phyllostomidae) is a frugivorous bat that emits low-intensity, broadband, frequency-modulated echolocation pulses through nostrils surrounded by a noseleaf. The emission pattern of this bat is of interest because the ratio between the nostril spacing and the emitted wavelength varies during the pulse, causing complex interference patterns in the horizontal dimension. Sound pressures around the bat were measured using a movable microphone and were referenced to those at a stationary microphone positioned directly in front of the animal. Interference between the nostrils was confirmed by blocking one nostril, which eliminated sidelobes and minima in the emission pattern, and by comparison of real emission patterns with simple computer models. The positions of minima in the patterns indicate effective nostril spacings of over a half-wavelength. Displacement of the dorsal lancet of the noseleaf demonstrated that this structure directs sound in the vertical dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1892-1900
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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