Sunday, 15 January 2017

Bats Use Smart Sat-Nav Neurons to Find Their Way

Image courtesy of Arpingstone, public domain.

Joel Kontinen

Fruit bats have a smart navigation system that tells them where to go. They have brain cells that give them “their distance and angle to a location,” as a Nature news article puts it.

The article goes on to say:

Egyptian fruit bats navigate their angle and distance of flight to specific destinations using special vector neurons.

Bats have brain cells that keep track of their angle and distance to a target, researchers have discovered. The neurons, called ‘vector cells’, are a key piece of the mammalian’s brain complex navigation system

Many animals, such as monarch butterflies, jellyfish, turtles, pigeons, bumblebees and robins, have amazingly smart navigation skills.

And bats can fly really fast.

What do these skills tell us? They should remind us of the Creator:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, NIV).


Abbott, Alison. 2017. Sat-nav neurons tell bats where to go. Nature news (12 January).