National Geographic : 1973 May
In pursuit of bats, Dr. Alvin Novick of Yale University explores caves and culverts, belfries and birds' nests-as well as attics. "I've fallen through ceilings around the world," says the 47-year-old physiologist, who studies how bats orient themselves by sound. The scientist removes a moustache bat from a mist net (below), strung at the mouth of a cave in Jamaica where he makes frequent trips to capture animals for laboratory study. Inside another Jamaican cave (below right), he wields a net. Bats broadcast most of their sonar pulses at frequencies too high for humans to hear. "It's a good thing we can't hear them," says Dr. Novick. "For example, I measured the pulses of a Malayan naked free-tailed bat-an animal about as big as a bluejay - at 145 decibels. That's comparable to the sound level of some jets at takeoff."