Baby bats can speak in dialects?

Research reveals that baby bats can speak in their dialect due to the influence of the bat colony chattering.

Bat colony
Grey-headed flying foxes reside in animal trainer Santisak Dulapitak's house in the outskirts of Bangkok September 10, 2009. Santisak, 53, has been training his animals to appear in advertisements and movies for more than two decades. The grey-headed flying fox, a type of fruit bat, is one of many animals Santisak trains. Picture taken September 10, 2009. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND ANIMALS) Reuters

The Egyptian fruit bat can speak in dialects. This species of bat has at least thousand vocalizations and all of those directs them to do the same thing, that is 'Move!'

50,000 bats live on the same tree, bickering and fighting amongst one another for space. This chaos, according to Tel Aviv University neuroecologist Yossi Yovel is a good thing for the baby bats as it helps in their language development.

Researchers are wondering whether the collective cacophony of the bat colony teaches baby bats to speak. These bat babies apparently learn their unique dialect along with different vocal modulations that helps them to communicate. This noise made by the bats is unique in its own way and absolutely different from the other sounds found in nature.

To analyse how baby bats learn to communicate, researchers collected over a dozen of pregnant Egyptian fruit bats, all the way from Central Israel. They were made to give birth in captive environments. Female bats give birth to one baby at a time and are dedicated to childcare.

Scientists exposed some of these bat pups to recordings from real bat colonies while a second group listened to more high-pitched calls, which is usually not seen in Egyptian fruit bat colony. A third group was made to hear low-pitch calls.

In each group, however, the mother bat was allowed to communicate and nurse her babies, till the baby bats are all grown up and ready to dwell in their natural habitat.

Scientists noticed that at six months old, the bat pups started communicating in a dialect that matched their respective recordings. This further proves that the chit-chat of the bat colony, therefore, influences the pups' dialects more than their mothers' calls.

Yovel's theory suggests that young bats learn communicating differently than birds, as birds follow the language of their parents. The researcher further suggests that delving deep into the features of communication of social animals like the Egyptian fruit bat might provide us with some insight on human evolution.