Pteronotus parnellii, the Common mustached bat, is a member of the Neotropical family Mormoopidae. These bats are native to Central and South America, where they commonly roost in caves and large tree hollows. Pteronotus parnellii is the only member of its family (indeed, the only bat in the New World) to use Doppler shift echocation. They have an unusual, highly specialized echolocation system that takes advantage of the Doppler shift to separate emitted pulses (calls) and returning echoes in frequency rather than in time. These bats simultaneously emit long, constant frequency calls and listen to returning echoes, and analyze the resulting auditory data to build a complex, dynamic auditory map of their environment. An anatomical feature associated with use of Doppler shift echolocation is an extremely large cochlea, in which the basal turn is tuned to be especially sensitive to the frequency of returning echoes, which are lower frequency than the calls emitted by the bat.
About the Species
A whole preserved specimen of Pteronotus parnelli was scanned on 13 February 2003. It is part of the American Museum of Natural History Mammalogy Collections (AMNH 249063). The specimen was made available for scanning by Dr. Nancy Simmons of the American Museum of Natural History. Funding for scanning was provided by a National Science Foundation grant (DEB-9873663) to Dr. Simmons, and funding for image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. Timothy Rowe of the Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
About this Specimen
The specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert on 13 February 2003 along the coronal axis for a total of 1120 slices. Each slice is 0.06 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.06 mm and a field of reconstruction of 54 mm. Slices 31 through 445 were used in the image processing of the head.