Hubble Bubble

  Quickbeam 12:52 21 Jun 11
Locked
Answered

Eye of newt and toe of frog, Hair of bat...

Couldn't resist this one Toil & Trouble

  wiz-king 16:13 21 Jun 11

Hair standing on end - must have been a narrow squeak.

Hair standing on end - must have been a narrow squeak. Or an echo.

  ams4127 23:02 21 Jun 11

Perhaps we should bring this to the attention of Bae Systems!

  knockin on 15:48 23 Jun 11

Hope the hairs grow back for the sake of the disabled bats:

Reminds me of the story of the chap who trained fleas to jump through a hoop at the sound of a whistle.......

When he pulled their legs off, they went deaf.

  Wilham 21:18 26 Jun 11

Quickbeam You have always shown interest in science and your thread about these micro hairs on bats needs modern developments to understand how I think they work.

This is not a leg-pull, and I may be wrong but from the info in your link the miniscule dimensions of the hairs seem too fragile just to sense airspeed/direction of the bat.

The accurate sonic navigation system of bats is well known, but there is a question mark on the resolution of the sound waves when the wavelength is much larger than the size of smaller prey.

An answer to this I suggest is the function of the hairs. We know most atmospheric molecules form bunches. This property comes under a heading called 'Diffusion in Gasses'. A search for 'Feyneman+ Diffusion' would be a good start. Don't be put off by published mathematics, in most of which the abundance of undetermined variables reveals how little we know about localised behaviour of gasses.

My own intuitive explanation is that the common gasses tend to assemble together in clumps, but break apart easily, ie. by turbulence by the beats of an insect's wings. The bats micro hairs sense the texture of the prey's path through the air to home in on the target.

  Wilham 21:21 26 Jun 11

Oops... Richard Feynman, one e.

  Strawballs 21:23 26 Jun 11

Wilhem that is getting very deep for a general conversation forum, that is the sort of thing I would expect to find in a scientific journal.

  woodchip 22:42 26 Jun 11

Yep we are hear a lot of the time to have a bit of fun. But do not stop posting info if you think we should read it. I am 75 and still like learning new things. Not of the nature that you cannot learn a old dog new tricks

  Forum Editor 00:26 27 Jun 11

Wilham

I imagine it's similar to the way that fish can detect tiny variations in pressure and turbulence (and sometimes electro-magnetic variations) on their lateral lines - enabling them to sense prey and danger.

  Quickbeam 07:25 27 Jun 11
Answer

"shown interest in science"

Nah, I just thought of that line when I read the article, I think it's wool of bat, to be pedantic, and my thought process doesn't necessarily work like everyone else's, as others may have noticed at times...

  Crosstrainer2 07:29 27 Jun 11

Bat shearing? whatever next :))

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