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    Like human children, bats learn to communicate by barking

In a family of needy bats, Saccopteryx bilineata: is the most communicative type. Their playlist of elaborate songs և calls is part of their romance strategy. Given the complexity of their “language”, these bats begin their vocal learning process at a young age. In a recent study, Anana Fernandez, a scientist visiting the Smithsonian Institution of Retrospective Research (STRI), found that as children, S. bilineata: Puppies “gossip” as part of the initial stage of language learning.

His research, which spans several years, two countries (Panama և Costa Rica) և countless hours sitting quietly in front of chopped bats և found behavior that is rarely associated with non-human mammals. For example, in a magazine last year Boundaries in ecology: evolution, Fernandez described a phenomenon that may resemble “childish talk” or intimacy when a woman S. bilineata: Mothers turn to their children.

“During my first field season, when I sat quietly in front of animals for many hours, watching them, I realized that mothers and kittens interacted during kitten gossip,” said Fernandez, who is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in behavioral ecology at Mirjam Knörnschild. ակ Biostatic laboratory at the Natural History Museum in Berlin. “Especially when mothers gossiped about their babies, they produced a certain kind of bell.”

This behavior suggests that social feedback is possible during this type of bat development in humans, as in humans.

In his latest study, published Science:, Fernandez reveals that gossip behavior S. bilineata: cubs shockingly similar to human child gossip. They both share the same basic characteristics, including duplication (repetition of syllables) և rhythm (babysitters). Like children, bats spend most of their day babbling, breastfeeding, or relaxing with their mothers.

“While babysitting, pups learn part of an adult vocal repertoire by imitating the voices of adult educators,” Fernandez said. “Gossiping about this makes it a very interesting behavior because it tells us when learning is taking place, provides great opportunities to explore how different factors, such as social environment, affect learning success.”

In addition to people, S. bilineata: is the only mammal that exhibits gossip-like behavior. These parallels are between sound development S. bilineata: : People can offer valuable insights into biolinguistic studies of human language evolution.

To carry out this type of research, Fernandez այլ Other scientists in the Conrshild Laboratory have to do a lot of unique field work. They train bats in the presence of observers around the clock, observing their natural behavior in a completely quiet environment. months և decades. This is extremely unusual for bat research, as most laboratories work with captive or wild animals that are automatically tracked.

“The sustainability of the STRI-provided field sites is crucial to our research, as we aim to track down individual bats throughout their lives, to learn as much as possible about their social interactions and communication skills,” said Conrshild, who STRI Researcher: “Our findings on the general characteristics of bats և human infant hums would not have been possible without in-depth knowledge of our bats’ natural-social history, for which long-term data are essential.”

Republished by the Smithsonian Institution of Retrospective Research. Photo. As part of the fieldwork, Fernandez trained the bats in his presence, observing their natural behavior and recording in a completely undisturbed environment for months. Loan: Ana Endara

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