Bats Use “Baby Talk” to Talk With Pups
We’re all familiar with the way people use “baby talk” when they speak with a baby or very young child. Now scientists report that some bats do something similar.
Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute studied the greater sac-winged bat, which can be found in Central and South America. They chose these bats because they have lots of different calls that they use for different purposes.
During the first three months of their lives, the pups (baby bats) are just learning to “speak” and are trying out different ways of making sounds. The scientists discovered that mother bats respond to these sounds by changing their own way of “speaking”.
Of course, the bats aren’t speaking in words, but they are learning to communicate using high-pitched sounds.
The scientists say the mothers use a different ‘color’ and pitch when they are encouraging young bats to speak. They also report that the way males talk to bat cubs may help them learn to make sounds like others in their group.
Chinese Phone Number Sells for $325,000
Last weekend, someone in Beijing, China agreed to pay $325,000 for a phone number. Yes, you read that right – $325,000 for a phone number.
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The number was auctioned off by a court in China. In an auction, people say how much they will pay for something. As people offer more money, the price goes up until someone offers a price no one else is willing to pay. The winning offer was $325,000.
Why would someone pay so much money for a phone number? The number ended in five 8s. Eight is a lucky number in China, where the word for the number eight also sounds like the word for “get rich”.
Oddly enough, that’s not a record. The New York Times reports that in 2017, a phone number with eight 7s was auctioned off for $560,000.
“Chocolate Snow” Falls on Swiss Town
The town of Olten, Switzerland found itself in an unusual situation last Thursday, when cocoa powder began falling from the sky. Cocoa is used to make chocolate. The problem turned out to be the ventilation system at the Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate factory.
The company said there was a problem with the air flow in the area of the factory where they roast crushed cocoa beans. As a result, cocoa powder was blown out of the factory and spread by strong winds. The result left areas of the town coated with a light covering of cocoa powder.
The company says the cocoa is not dangerous in any way. The ventilation system has now been fixed, and the company has offered to pay for any cleaning that’s needed. So far, no one has taken them up on the offer.