Turns out, bats may be the ultimate frenemies.
Scientists studying Mexican free-tailed bats found that the mammals are less than cooperative during bug hunting. Instead, the bats "jam" each other's echolocation abilities as one hunter goes for the kill, opening the insect back up to the other flyers. The jamming stops a hunting bat from capturing its prey 86 percent of the time, scientists said. When jamming, bats send out a call with a pitch that moves quickly up and down, blanketing the echolocation calls the hunting bat is sending out to identify an insect's location.
"This is nature's version of acoustic warfare," Aaron Corcoran, a biologist at Wake Forest University who led the study, which was published in the journal Science, told Reuters.
While the Mexican free-tailed bats are the first species discovered to use the jamming technique, scientists believe other bats could use the tactic, too.