Biologist Says Trout Pond Important For Bat Research

MASHPEE – At a recent Mashpee Board of Selectmen meeting, Dr. James “Jim” Simmons, a Professor of Biology at Brown University, spoke about the importance of Trout Pond to ongoing studies on the sonar abilities of bats.

Simmons, who studies bats for the U.S. Navy, said the Navy is very interested in upgrading its sonar capabilities through close study of the airborne mammals.

According to Simmons, Trout Pond has been a hotspot for bat studies since the 1930s, as the bats gather there in large numbers chasing insects.

The research seeks to determine how multiple bats can fly together and not interfere with each other.

“You have bats having these aerial dogfights just like they’re two Spitfires chasing two Messerschmitts,” said Simmons, comparing the bats to fighter planes in World War II, “but they’re doing it with sonar and they’re doing it in the dark, and we do not know how they can do that.”

“In the last twenty years we have learned a lot, and need to learn a lot more about what Trout Pond can teach us about how these animals live,” he added.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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