The fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus has highly mobile pinnae. Little is known about the role that such movements play in sound localisation however and whether they interact with the process of echolocation in this species. Here we report the correspondence of echolocation signals in free flight with the downward wingbeat and forward movement of the pinnae, and demonstrate that the ears have a greater sensitivity to click stimuli in front of the animal when directed forwards than when back and to the side. The potential significance of the production of echolocation signals whilst the ears are moving from their least sensitive to their most sensitive position is discussed.
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|Published - 2005