Echolocation is a technique used by some animals to determine the location of objects using reflected sound. This allows animals that possess this quality is to move around, and “see” in a way, when it is pitch black, hunt, recognize the enemy, and animals from the same species.
Some animals that have the ability to use echolocation are dolphins, bats, whales, some shrews, and a few birds. Even some blind people have also developed the ability of echolocating.
For the case of dolphins and some types of whales, echolocation enables them to see in dark waters in which there is mud. Dolphins also use echolocation to chase their prey in order to eat. But how do these animals use echolocation? Well, dolphins and whales use echolocation by bouncing high-pitched sounds off underwater objects. These sounds are made by squeezing air through their nose hole near the blowhole. These sounds then pass on to the forehead, in which a huge ball of fat called the melon concentrates it into the beam. The reflected sound in echolocation is picked up through the animal’s lower jaw and passed to its ears. Echolocating sounds are so loud, dolphins and whales have shields to protect their ears from damage.
Another very interesting fact is the possibility of humans echolocating. Very similar to dolphins, humans can echolocate by generating sharp clicking sounds with the tongue. This sound will bounce back from any object it encounters as an echo. Echolocation is very much a possibility for humans but only a few humans are able to train and stick to animal-like echolocation (perfect echolocation). Blind people are more prone to developing this very special ability.