2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Gender and Age Variation in Call Structure of Northeast Missouri Chiropterans
Benjamin T. Hale
Dr. Scott Burt and Dr. Jason E. Miller, Faculty Mentors

Microchiropterans use echolocation calls to navigate, hunt and communicate. If one assumes echolocation calls are species-specific, such calls can potentially be used for species identification. Historically, qualitative methods were used to visually distinguish among bat species acoustically, but quantitative methods would be preferred. Ideally, one would only need to record the calls of free-flying bats, extract relevant time-frequency data, and use the appropriate statistical tests and models to determine species. However, previous work has shown that echolocation calls possess a large amount of variability which hinders correct identification. This research project aims to understand different sources of variability among calls from different individuals within a species. We have discovered a significant amount of variation among individuals of the same species of different age and gender. Our conclusions corroborate the need for future studies to include age and gender as a source of variation when acoustically identifying bats to species.

Keywords: microchiropterans, echolocation, variability, bat

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 2-4
Location: VH 1432
Time: 9:00

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