Bats learn sounds like humans do

first_imgChildren and parrot and songbird chicks share a rare talent: They can mimic the sounds that adults of their species make. Now, researchers have discovered this vocal learning skill in baby Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus, pictured), a highly social species found from Africa to Pakistan. Only a handful of other mammals, including cetaceans and certain insectivorous bats, are vocal learners. The adult fruit bats have a rich vocal repertoire of mouselike squeaks and chatter (listen to a recording here), and the scientists suspected the bat pups had to learn these sounds. To find out, they placed baby bats with their mothers in isolation chambers for 5 months and made video and audio recordings of each pair. Lacking any other adults to vocalize to, the mothers were silent, and their babies made only isolation calls and babbling sounds, the researchers report today in Science Advances. As a control, the team raised another group of bat pups with their mothers and fathers, who chattered to each other. Soon, the control pups’ babbling gave way to specific sounds that matched those of their mothers. But the isolated pups quickly overcame the vocal gap after the scientists united both sets of bats—suggesting that unlike many songbird species (and more like humans), the fruit bats don’t have a limited period for vocal learning. Although the bats’ vocal learning is simple compared with that of humans, it could provide a useful model for understanding the evolution of language, the scientists say.last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Spa Village Resort T

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali is a 31-room spa resort that offers tailor-made wellness programmes devoted to healing, rejuvenation, wellness and spirituality.Its latest programme, Return To Yourself: A Yoga & Wellness Retreat, available exclusively on the first Monday of every month, is crafted by a woman who has been travelling alone for years to provide solo female travellers or small groups with a safe and personalised experience in a nurturing environment.The recommended 4-day/3-night itinerary, with an option to extend should guests wish to immerse deeper into the experience, combines regular and speciality yoga classes, guided meditation sessions, spa treatments, excursions and activities to discover Bali, its people, culture, food and natural wonders while meeting new like-minded friends in an environment that supports one’s overall wellbeing.Facilitated by Savitri Talahatu, Wellness Director at Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali, the Return to Yourself retreat invites guests to experience a slower pace of life in a Balinese village. The retreat programme flow includes Hatha Yoga and speciality Kundalini Yoga sessions, guided meditations, a cycling and picnic excursion to Les Waterfall, wellness playshops, a purification ceremony at Ponjok Batu Temple, indulgent spa treatments, organic and wholefood cuisine, and other crafted experiences.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more