Imagine playing hide and seek, now imagine being able to always find who ever your looking for without actually going out to find them.
Well Echolocation aka bio sonar is used to emit calls out in the environment. Sending sounds waves that reflect off of other organisms or objects allowing organisms to locate and identify. Organisms like Odontocetes such as dolphins use Echolocation in order to see. Other animals such as bats, birds and marine mammals use Echolocation to navigate or forage.
When dolphins or bats use Echolocation they send out clicks that sends out an echo which they can hear allowing the location of certain objects or organisms be found in an environment, this explains how Echolocation gets it’s name. Some scientists believed that this ability was developed slowly over time. Some of the animals that have the ability to echolocate usually are hunting in environments where it is difficult to use sight. For example, dolphins are in an environment where their pray camouflages with their environment or bury themselves in sand. They also are in an environment where the clarity is not always good so they have to be able to find prey and avoid predators. Bats are nocturnal animals that only come out at night where it is also difficult to use sight. Throughout time animals such as dolphins and bats slowly evolved by adapting to their environment in order to survive.
For dolphins, the clicks that they send out pass through their melon (top part of head). The melon then acts as a lens that focuses the sounds waves and sends them out as a beam, which is the projected forward in the water in front of the animal. The sound waves bounce off of any other organisms or objects in front of the animals and come back as an echo. Sound waves travel in water at a speed of 1.5km/sec (0.9mi/sec). This is 4.5 times faster than sound traveling through air. There are different frequencies that the sounds can travel from. High frequency sounds do not travel far in water due to how long the wavelengths are and how great the energy is. However, low frequency sounds do travel farther which is why echolocation works best when the object or organism in front of the dolphin is about 5 to 200meters away (16- 656ft). Now this vary on how large the object or organisms they are looking for is also.
Echolocation is an amazing adaption that developed over time and is used by multiple organisms, maybe is a long time we also my develop and adaptation that is cool like Echolocation.