Directivity and sound diffraction of the pinna of the Chinese Noctule (Nyctalus plancyi) have been studied numerically. The pinna was found capable of generating a periodic helical scanning pattern over frequency, if the tragus and the thickened lower ledge of the pinna rim were in an appropriate position. During the helical scan, a directivity pattern with a strong mainlobe alternated with a pattern dominated by a conical sleeve of sidelobes. This alternation was present, even when an unfavorable arrangement of the pinna disrupted the overall helical scanning pattern. In the fully formed helical scan, the orientation of main and sidelobes for different frequencies revealed a spatial ordering which extends volume coverage. Five different pinna parts have been removed from the digital pinna-shape representations in turn to assess their influence on the directivity. Of these parts, the tragus stem and the thickened lower ledge of the pinna rim were found to have the largest overall impact. The anatomical prominence of these structures was hence in agreement with their acoustic functionality. In the near-field, tragus stem and lower ledge were seen to act primarily through large shifts in the wavefield phase in both directions.

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