Bats have long been the focus of fascination, and sometimes fear: they move faultlessly through the darkness and spend the day hanging upside down in gloomy caverns and cracks – most at home where humans are least comfortable. Bats also represent a hugely important, numerous and varied group, accounting for 20% of all mammal species worldwide. Covering their biodiversity, ecology and natural history, A Miscellany of Bats offers a hoard of insights into the lives of these creatures.
For over a quarter of a century Brock Fenton and the late Jens Rydell collaborated on projects involving bats. Here they bring together a collection of stories and anecdotes about bat research, brought to life by stunning photographs of these animals in action. Key topics include flight and echolocation, diet and roosting habits, and the complex social lives of bats. Jens and Brock also address issues of conservation and the interactions between bats and people, ranging from matters of disease to bats' role as symbols, and our fixation with vampire bats. They explore how echolocation and flight shape batkind, from their appearance to where they go and why. Overall, this book is an entertaining and personal vision of bats' central place in the universe.
Brock Fenton is an Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Western Ontario. He is Deputy Executive Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Science Publishing. Over his long career, he has published widely on bats, from detailed research papers to books intended for the general reader.
Jens Rydell was a Swedish scientist and noted bat photographer, writing more than a hundred scientific papers on bats and insects. Renowned as a great teacher and conservation advocate, he was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences conservation prize in 2017.