Pregnancy can do weird things to the body. For some bats, it can hamper their ability to “see” the world around them.
Kuhl’s pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus kuhlii) echolocate less frequently while pregnant, researchers report March 28 in BMC Biology. The change may make it harder for the tiny bats to detect prey and potential obstacles in the environment.
The study is among the first to show that pregnancy can shape how nonhuman mammals sense their surroundings, says Yossi Yovel, a neuroecologist at Tel Aviv University in Israel.