Reconstruction and Analysis of 3D Trajectories of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats in Flight

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The Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis, roosts in very large colonies, consisting of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Each night, bats emerge from their day roosts in dense columns in a highly coordinated manner. The authors recorded short segments of an emergence using three spatially-calibrated and temporally synchronized thermal infrared cameras. They applied stereoscopic methods to reconstruct the three-dimensional positions of these flying bats. They applied a multiple hypothesis tracking algorithm to obtain 7,016 reconstructed trajectories.