The Secret Lives of Bats

The Secret Lives of Bats

My Adventures With the World's Most Misunderstood Mammals

Book - 2015
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A lifetime of adventures with bats around the world reveals why these special and imperiled creatures should be protected rather than feared.

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.

Sharing highlights from a lifetime of adventure and discovery, Tuttle takes us to the frontiers of bat research and conservation and forever changes the way we see these poorly understood yet fascinating creatures.

Baker & Taylor
An ecologist, conservationist and wildlife photographer explains why bats are misunderstood and should not be feared, and discusses how highly intelligent they are, their social order which is similar to that of primates and how they eat crop pests and pollinate plants. 20,000 first printing.

& Taylor

An ecologist, conservationist, and wildlife photographer explains why bats are misunderstood, discussing their high intelligence, social order, and benefits to agriculture.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780544382275
Branch Call Number: 599.4074 T887s 2015
Characteristics: xvi, 271 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 22 cm


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Feb 04, 2020

A long time contributor to the National Geographic, advocate for the conservation of bats, a much misunderstood creature. They are actually very gentle, affectionate and intelligent. They help the environment in pollinating plants and eating insects that damage crops, a keystone animal whose presence in the environment is indispensible. Many plants rely on bats to spread their pollen like the giant saguaro cactus in the Sonoran desert. Birds, bees, just don't do the job as well as bats. Full of excellent color photos. Readable. Tuttle writes a lot about photography, setting up a studio in his hotel room with real plant props which are used with live bats that are returned afterward. He explains the techniques he uses to get the perfect shot. Some of his experiences are harrowing, lowering himself on a rope from a hot air balloon, over Texas, at night, almost being attacked by a lion in Africa, having a narrow escape from bandits in Africa, getting Ammonia poisoning in a bat cave in Texas. It has a lot. And it is an overall positive picture because he tells how very often people switch from being bat hunters, of bat exterminators, to bat lovers and advocates for the conservation of bats. It is a learned book but accessible to the nonscientist. Inspirational and uplifting.

ArapahoeAnna Jul 17, 2018

Merlin Tuttle is the "crocodile hunter" of bats. He travels all over the world documenting and photographing all types of them. This guide has adventure stories, pictures, information about bats and the ecosystems they enable to exist. He talks about pollination, seed distribution, consuming insect pests, migrations, types of echolocation, habitats and caves. Informs people how varied and wonderful bats really are and conservation efforts to save them.

Dec 18, 2015

Wonderfully well-written book on the only flying mammal, which includes 50 beautiful photos of bats -many which have appeared in National Geographic - taken by the author. Dr. Tuttle describes how he became interested in them as a teenager, which led to an exciting career. Those of us who love field biology can live it vicariously by reading the author's account of his several narrow escapes from disaster. I learned the importance of the conservation efforts being carried out by Bat Conservation International, which he founded.


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