Beautiful Science

Emballonuridae
EmballonuridaePHOTO: LASSE JAKOBSEN

Most bats use highly sophisticated hunting techniques - except for those around the equator. Biologists from the University of Southern Denmark believe they hunt more or less the same way their ancestors did millions of years ago.

"We think life at the equator is so easy for these bats that they - unlike other bats - simply had no need to improve their hunting techniques," said researcher Lasse Jakobsen, now at the Centre for Animal Movement in Sweden. "There are plenty of insects and stable conditions all year round."

The studied bat family at the equator is the Emballonuridae ( is one from Panama). Researchers have found advanced hunting techniques in horseshoe bats and vesper bats.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 28, 2015, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe