SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL & HELP SUPPORT BATS

Keen sense of touch allows bats to fly with breathtaking precision


Bats fly with breathtaking precision because their wings are equipped with highly sensitive touch sensors, cells that respond to even slight changes in airflow, researchers have demonstrated for the first time.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University, as well as Columbia University and the University of Maryland, determined how the sense of touch plays a key role in powered flight. In a paper published today in the journal Cell Reports, they show how sensory receptors in bat wings send information about airflow to neurons in the brain, enabling the bat to make split-second flight control adjustments.

"Until now no one had investigated the sensors on the bat's wing, which allow it to serve as more than a propeller, a flipper, an airplane wing or any simple airfoil," said Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Cynthia F. Moss, one of the senior authors and a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "These findings can inform more broadly how organisms use touch to guide movement."

Moss and the team studied the big brown bat, a common species found throughout North America. Bats are the only mammals capable of true powered flight, able to reach speeds of 7 to 20 miles per hour, and with the sort of aerial maneuverability humans only wish they could engineer.

The team found that the evolutionary process that allowed bats to form wings resulted in unusual tactile circuitry that not only enhances control during flight, but also allows bats to use their wings to climb, cradle their young, and capture insects.

First they discovered an array of sensory receptors in bat wings—a significant number of which are clustered at the base of tiny hairs that cover the appendages. Such placement of these touch cells, both lanceolate endings and Merkel cells, allows the bat, while flying, to sense changes in airflow as the air ruffles the hairs.

When the team stimulated these hairs with brief air puffs, neurons in the bat's primary somatosensory cortex responded with precisely timed but sparse bursts of activity, suggesting this circuitry helped guide bats during fast, dynamic flight.

The team also found the innervation of bat wings to be unlike that of other mammalian forelimbs—a clue into how wings grew in bats during evolution. The researchers were surprised to discover that neurons in the wing skin connected not only to the higher parts of the spinal cord where forelimbs typically connect, but also to lower parts of the spinal cord that would normally only innervate an animal's trunk.

These findings lay the groundwork for understanding how bats use sensory information to fly with precision in the dark and catch prey midair. The information, researchers say, could eventually help people design air vehicles that better negotiate obstacles by sensing and adjusting to air turbulence.

The research team included Ellen A. Lumpkin, the other senior author and an associate professor of somatosensory biology at Columbia University, her student and lead author Kara L. Marshall, who with Laura DeSouza, another of Lumpkin's students, focused on the neuroanatomical part of the study; as well as Susanne J. Sterbing-D'Angelo of Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. Mohit Chadha of the University of Maryland contributed the neurophysiological aspects of the work.

Funding for the research was provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to Sterbing-D'Angelo and Moss, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Columbia Skin Disease Research Center to Lumpkin.


COMMENTS

BatsRule!/\^._.^/\Help Save WildLife
Name

Articles,62,Audio,16,Backyard,16,Barbed Wire,27,Bat Art,45,Bat Books,83,Bat Box,26,Bat Clothing,16,Bat Issues,572,Bat Stamps,1,Bats,2,Bats for Children,35,Bats for the Home,68,Electrocution,8,Events,39,info on bats,565,Jackie Sparrow,22,Microbats,458,Misc,101,Netting,35,Newsletter,4,Promoting,143,Rehab,76,Rehab 2011,6,Rehab 2012,24,Rehab 2013,17,Rehab 2014,6,Rehab 2015,104,Rehab 2016,117,Rehab 2017,45,Release Cage,2,RESCUE,64,Rescue 2012,4,RESCUE 2013,18,RESCUE 2014,8,RESCUE 2015,25,Rescue 2016,14,RESCUE 2017,10,Rob Mies,11,Shooting,2,Vegetation,23,Video,299,Virus,128,WebSites-Bat,44,
ltr
item
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Keen sense of touch allows bats to fly with breathtaking precision
Keen sense of touch allows bats to fly with breathtaking precision
Keen sense of touch allows bats to fly with breathtaking precision
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qJTkz__pG7o/V-TNfyGiXRI/AAAAAAACbcU/2fOgAm2TzCE38AsZtSKrmkaAsKVXzP2zgCLcB/s1600/Keen%2Bsense%2Bof%2Btouch%2Ballows%2Bbats%2Bto%2Bfly%2Bwith%2Bbreathtaking%2Bprecision.JPG
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qJTkz__pG7o/V-TNfyGiXRI/AAAAAAACbcU/2fOgAm2TzCE38AsZtSKrmkaAsKVXzP2zgCLcB/s72-c/Keen%2Bsense%2Bof%2Btouch%2Ballows%2Bbats%2Bto%2Bfly%2Bwith%2Bbreathtaking%2Bprecision.JPG
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
http://batsrule-helpsavewildlife.blogspot.com/2017/05/keen-sense-of-touch-allows-bats-to-fly.html
http://batsrule-helpsavewildlife.blogspot.com/
http://batsrule-helpsavewildlife.blogspot.com/
http://batsrule-helpsavewildlife.blogspot.com/2017/05/keen-sense-of-touch-allows-bats-to-fly.html
true
4238281482117672351
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy