Fruit bat in flight (c) Finkelstein et al
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Fruit bats have 3D compass in their brains study finds

Recordings from the brains of bats as they flew in a lab have revealed that the animals have a "neural compass" which lets them keep track of exactly where, and even which way up they are.

So called head-direction brain cells fire to track the animals' position.

The researchers were able to record from them as the animals moved, and even as they carried out acrobatic, upside-down landings - as shown in this slow-motion footage.

The researchers think a similar 3-D internal navigation system is likely to be found throughout the animal kingdom.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

Footage courtesy of Finkelstein et al/Nature

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