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Bats can remember sounds they haven’t heard for more than 4 years

Animals known to be highly intelligent, such as ravens and chimpanzees, have good long-term memory – and now it seems that some bats do too

Life 31 March 2022

H7YMEG Fringe-lipped Bat (Trachops cirrhosus) roosting and calling, Smithsonian Tropical Research Station, Barro Colorado Island,

A fringe-lipped bat roosting and calling

Christian Ziegler/Minden Pictures/Alamy

When fringe-lipped bats learn the sound of a dinner bell, they remember it for years. The bats’ enduring memory is comparable to that of other animals renowned for their expansive cognitive skills, such as crows and primates.

Fringe-lipped bats (Trachops cirrhosus) are native to rainforests in the Central and South American tropics. They are nocturnal predators with a broad diet, snatching up insects, frogs, lizards and small mammals. The bats have a keen ear and are able to discern between the calls of poisonous …