ABS 2022
Bats track their moth prey through predictive control of their echolocation pulses during predatory encounters
Nozomi Nishiumi1, Emyo Fujioka2, Shizuko Hiryu2. 1National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan; 2Doshisha University, Kyotanabe, Aichi, Japan

Bats are able to capture agilely escaping prey despite the unavoidable sensory delays associated with their echolocation system. This fact has been implied for a long time that bats employ a predictive mechanism to accurately identify the locations of their prey via their ultrasound pulses. However, such a predictive pulse control mechanism have only been demonstrated under specific conditions in which the movement of the target object was restricted to one or two dimension or when bats were forced to remain stationary. In the present study, we demonstrated bats use predictive pulse control during actual predation events where bats and prey interact in three dimensions. Moreover, we showed that this predictive mechanism increases the accuracy of their sighting and works most effectively when it is coupled with modification of the pulse emission rate and pulse beam width. We also showed that an internal model that considers the angular velocity better explains their predictive pulse control mechanism than a previously proposed model.