Bats are fast decision makers

 Bats are capable of making ultra-fast decisions about how to attack their prey - or maybe even call off the attack and it takes only milliseconds, finds a new research.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 12:56 PM IST

London: Bats are capable of making ultra-fast decisions about how to attack their prey - or maybe even call off the attack and it takes only milliseconds, finds a new research.

These flying mammals use echolocation for orientation and emit ultrasonic sounds, which hit potential prey nearby, sending an echo back to the bat.

From this echo, the bat can define where the prey is and attack it.

"A bat is capable of adjusting its attack until it is approximately 100 milliseconds away from its prey," explained Signe Brinklov from department of biology, University of Southern Denmark.

Bats are capable of gathering information from the environment and process it surprisingly fast in order to determine how to carry out the attack or maybe call it off, said the study that appeared in the journal PNAS.

The team studied hunting bats both in the laboratory and in nature and offered prey to the bats.

When the bats started their hunt for the prey, the researchers removed it and observed how the bats reacted.

The sound emitted from the bats was observed and filmed how and when the bats responded to the disappearance of the prey.

As the bats approached their prey, they were continually able to adjust their attack and maybe call off the hunt entirely if we took away the prey.

"They had this capability until less than 100 milliseconds before reaching their prey. This tells us that bats can process complex information and make decisions in an extremely short time," Brinklov explained.

The bats' ability to make quick decisions is a result of evolution, he concluded.