Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calorie Burning (dancing) Bats

Today's post is going to be a lot more fun than yesterdays... even if it does involve statistics.
Well - not much statistics, but that is where we have to start.

In my class today, we were discussing a research study involving the energy expenditure (i.e. calorie burn) of bats who use echolocation verses non echolocating birds and non echolocating bats.  Ebat and Ne bats.  The researcher wondered if the ebats, would burn more calories because they are doing more (flying and sending out sound waves), or if they somehow compensate for it by conserving energy elsewhere.

The scientists used a procedure called regression so that they could control for body size (weight).  As you know, the bigger a person or BAT is, the more calories they burn.  This type of statistical procedure can make it so that all the birds and bats weigh the same (hypothetically speaking) and then the only difference should be - echolocating.

So  - do you know what echolocation is???  I think you will enjoy watching this video (for children) which may lead you to burn some extra calories from laughing!


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