This guide to bats, complete with photographs from wildlife photographer Merlin Tuttle, explores these creatures and their fundamental role in ecosystems. From the giant golden crowned flying fox, a megabat with a wingspan of more than 5 feet, to the aptly named bumblebee bat, the world’s smallest mammal, the number and diversity of bat species have proven to be both rich and underestimated. Nocturnal, fast-flying and secretive, bats are difficult to observe and catalog. This handbook presents bats’ evolution, biology, behavior and ecology.
It offers profiles of 400 megabats and microbats and detailed summaries of all the species identified to date. Including an introduction exploring bats’ natural history and their unique adaptations to life on the wing, Bats includes close-up images of these animals’ delicate and intricate forms and faces to show them as they have never been presented before.
The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals Hardcover – October 20, 2015
A lifetime of adventures with bats around the world reveals why these special and imperiled creatures should be protected rather than feared.
From menacing moonshiners and armed bandits to charging elephants and man-eating tigers, Merlin Tuttle has stopped at nothing to find and protect bats on every continent they inhabit. Enamored of bats ever since discovering a colony in a cave as a boy, Tuttle saw how effective photography could be in persuading people not to fear bats, and he has spent his career traveling the world to document them.
Few people realize how sophisticated and intelligent bats are. Tuttle shares research showing that frog-eating bats can identify frogs by their calls, that vampire bats have a social order similar to that of primates, and that bats have remarkable memories. Bats also provide enormous benefits by eating crop pests, pollinating plants, and carrying seeds needed for reforestation. They save farmers billions of dollars annually and are essential to a healthy planet.