How do bats move without hitting other bats, which are in thousands, in caves?
Bats use echolocation to hunt for food and to avoid collisions and obstacle. They have the ability to create and hear noises that humans cannot hear.
The sound waves bounce off of objects and back to the bat, which can then judge the size and distance of the object. These subsonic noises vary in length and pulse frequency, and are unique to the individual. Each bat recognizes its own pulse reflections, or “voice,” and uses it to avoid objects and to identify food.
Flying around with thousands of other bats inside a cave creates a chaotic amount of noise. The bats simply ignore their personal navigation systems inside the caves.
Echolocation is a method of sensory perception by which certain animals orient themselves to their surroundings, detect obstacles, communicate with others, and find food. During echolocation a series of short, high-pitched sounds are emitted by an animal.
These sound travel out away from the animal and then bounce off objects and surfaces in the animal’s path creating an echo. The echo returns to the animal, giving it a sense about what is in its path. A bat can determine an object’s size, shape, direction, distance, and motion. This echolocation system is so accurate that bats can detect insects the size of gnats and objects as fine as a human hair.