Bats Use “Death Metal Growls” to Make Social Calls

Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii) echolocating in flight.
Credit: Jens Rydell (CC-BY 4.0,

Bats use distinct structures in the larynx to produce high-frequency echolocation calls and lower-frequency social calls, according to a study by Coen Elemans at the University of Southern Denmark and colleagues, publishing November 29th in the open access journal PLOS Biology. The structures used to make the low-pitched calls are analogous to those used by death metal vocalists in their growls. The article is titled “Bats Expand Their Vocal Range by Recruiting Different Laryngeal Structures for Echolocation and Social Communication.”

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