Scientists decode bat chat with machine learning

It turns out you don’t need to be Dr. Doolittle to eavesdrop on arguments in the animal kingdom. Researchers studying Egyptian fruit bats say they have found a way to work out who is arguing with whom, what they are squabbling about and can even predict the outcome of a disagreement — all from the bats’ calls. “The global quest is to understand where human language comes from. To do this we must study animal communication ,” said Yossi Yovel, co-author of the research from Tel Aviv University in Israel. “One of the big questions in animal communication is how much information is conveyed.” Egyptian fruit bats, common to Africa and the Middle East, are social creatures. But the calls they make as they huddle together to roost are almost…

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