05 March 2008

Bat programming

It seems that bats can be programmed fairly directly but crudely.

The clever little blighters seem to have collected & learned how to use magnetite to help orient themselves (that & using Earth’s magnetic field for navigation), so scientists tried reorienting the fields in the magnetite, discovering that many of the bats changed their initial heading to, er, reflect the changes in their sensors.

It’s a long way from there to a bat-directing joystick, but they did very much prove their basic point: that the magnetite is a discrete & effective component of the bats’ navigation systems. There are a few links on that page toward other interestingly batty stories, too.

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