Echolocation

By Michael Plantenberg

Echolocation is determining the location of objects by using sound waves. This is like the same way radar determines the location of aircraft by using radio waves. Echolocation is used by some animals such as bats, and also some blind people.

Bats use echolocation to tell the speed and direction of an insect to eat. For example a bug flying away will have sound waves flying back to the bug at a lower pitch, and an insect flying towards the bat would produce a higher pitch. Most bat calls range from 14,000 Hz to over 100,000 Hz. Bats also use echolocation to navigate. The sound waves can vibrate off the walls of very dark caves and they will fly around to avoid running into the walls. Dolphins also use echolocation to navigate in the ocean, just like ships using sonar to detect submarines, dolphins can find other fish to eat. It allows dolphins to hunt for food even in the deep ocean, where there is no sunlight.
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Bats using Ecolocation


Some blind humans are also known to have developed echolocation. Currently, a number of scientists are trying to develop a way to train blind people to usecho-location.jpge echolocation, so they can walk without a seeing eye dog. Only a few blind people have developed this ability after trial and error over several years.




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Plataforma SINC (2009, July 6). Scientists Develop Echolocation In Humans To Aid The Blind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com ­ /releases/2009/06/090630075445.htm
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