How do bats learn to talk?

First they study the alpha-bat.

If you’ve ever been around a baby you probably heard some of those baby sounds, like cooing, gurgling and babbling.

Those are what it sounds like as babies try to make the sounds that adults make.

Some new research finds if you spend time with baby bats, you might hear them doing essentially the same thing.


The researchers studied groups of sac-winged bat pups in Costa Rica and Panama from their births until 12 weeks – weaning time for that species.

They were able to determine that about two weeks or so after birth, the pups were imitating the sounds of adult bats.

And they were able to distinguish those mimicking sounds from the sounds that bat pups and many other species make to call for a parent or cry out for food.

The babbling sounds had more syllables, they were rhythmic, and they were repeated, all signs that the pups were practicing their communication the way a little human might.

There’s more research to be done to see if other bat species do this, or other types of animals, for that matter.

Maybe there are babbling baby dolphins, or birds, or naked mole rats out there.

In a lot of places, Friday is when people put out the garbage and the recycling.

The YouTube channel Steadycraftin just found a good use for those orange plastic prescription bottles: they shredded them, melted them down and 3D printed them into little robot figures.

Baby Bats Babble Just Like Human Infants (Treehugger)

Turning Plastic Pill Bottles Into Orange Robot Figurines (Laughing Squid)

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Photo by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr/Creative Commons