Understanding Relationship Communication- through Bats. 

Scrolling Facebook one day, a headline that Egyptian Fruit Bat calls are actually communication caught my eye.  Egyptian Fruit Bats Argue- A Lot

Much to my surprise, not only do these bats communicate by sound, but they have synthesized the substance of human relationship issues to four communication issues. 

“They were able to classify 60 percent of the calls.  One of the call types indicates the bats are arguing about food.”    “I’m hungry”  “what would you like, honey?”  “”What have we got”. “Well, we have spiders?”  “Nope”.  “Mosquitos?”  “Nope”.  “We have leftover peach from last nights dinner?”   “Nope- I think I want a burger and fries from Batdonalds”.   “Why didn’t you pick that up then in the way back to the cave?’  “I wasn’t hungry then.  Will you go”.   “. No!”  

“Another indicates a dispute about their positions within the sleeping cluster.”    “OMG- you snore like a bulldog bat!!   Go sleep In another part of the cave, will ya?”    “It’s too warm/cold/light/dark/quiet noisy in your part of the cave ceiling. ” “You hog the sheets/blanket/comforter”.  “Stop kicking me”.   “How about a bat cuddle.  You never bat cuddle with me”.  

“A third call is reserved for males making unwanted mating advances.”    “DONT TOUCH ME!”   “I have a splitting wing ache”.  “I’ve been feeding baby bats all day.  Do you realize how many mosquitos I caught today?!”   “How come you never help with the the bat guano?  “Hey, this weekend, wanna just fly around and look at the moon and park in the big Redwood”. 

“and the fourth happens when a bat argues with another bat sitting too close.”  “Don’t sit next to me”.  (This is closely related to “don’t touch me above) but is particularly used by female high school Bats of different social circles. 

“In fact, the bats make slightly different versions of the calls when speaking to different individuals within the group, similar to a human using a different tone of voice when talking to different people. “.  These have been classified as the: spouse tone, dating tone, parent to child tone, child to parent tone, boss to employee tone, employee to boss tone, sibling tone, friends tone, false friends tone, in law’s tone, road rage tone and hormonal tone. 

The 40% Of the bat sounds which could not be categorized were found to be teenage bats pouting or having an “episode”, mother in law bats muttering under their breath;  politician bats who didn’t make sense to the other bats,;  bats who only catch insects on cannabis plants who don’t make noise because they’re now eating every insect in sight and media bats. 

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