Social complexity drives vocal complexity in bats

A new study published in the journal Functional Ecology describes the virtuous circle between social and vocal complexity in bats. Scientists from the Museum für Naturkunde used a phylogenetic comparative analysis on 24 species to reveal that the information content of bat calls is positively related to the caller’s relevant social group size. When social interactions became more intricate, vocalizations had to encode more information, thus in turn facilitating even more complex interactions. Ultimately, a comprehensive theory on the coevolution of social and vocal complexity in animals may help to understand how human language, the most complex communication system in existence, evolved.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft