Letter | Published:

Bats and Fog


ON windless evenings fog commonly forms in dense, sharply defined patches, especially in sheltered bays of ponds. As the evening progresses and the temperature falls, these patches may grow and coalesce, advancing over the pond but maintaining a sharp front at which visibility changes profoundly within a few metres. In such conditions insectivorous bats hunting over the water have been observed to turn back at the fog front as if at a solid wall, even though their hunting area may become severely restricted. This behaviour suggests that fog may have a direct effect on echo location.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Houghton, H. G., and Radford, W. H., Pap. Phys. Ocean. Meteorol. MIT, 6, 5 (1938).

  2. 2

    George, J. J., in Compendium of Meteorology (edit. by Malone, T. F.) (Boston, 1951).

  3. 3

    Rayleigh, Lord, The Theory of Sound (London, 1896).

  4. 4

    Webster, F. A., Animal Sonar Systems (edit. by Busnel, R.-G.), 673 (Jouy-en-Josas, 1967).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.