Cover image for Bat basics : how to understand and help these amazing flying mammals
Title:
Bat basics : how to understand and help these amazing flying mammals
ISBN:
9781591938439
Physical Description:
128 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.
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Summary:
Explore the Everyday Lives of Bats! Bats have been misunderstood for generations, yet they are essential to a healthy ecosystem. From insect control to pollination services, we need bats more than most people know. Bat Basics separates fact from fiction in a fascinating, fun guide to the world's only flying mammals. Author Karen Krebbs has been studying bats for more than 30 years. She lectures, teaches, and even trains government workers on the subject-and now she's sharing her expertise with you. Learn the Bat Basics, such as how they use echolocation, why they hibernate, and what they eat. Discover bat myths that you probably thought were true. Find out how to bat-proof a house. Then turn to the field guide section, and identify a variety of common and important-to-know species. Projects, activities, and tips for helping the bat population round out this comprehensive guide. Get Bat Basics, and read all about why bats should be celebrated-not feared.
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Summary

Summary

Explore the Everyday Lives of Bats!

Bats have been misunderstood for generations, yet they are essential to a healthy ecosystem. From insect control to pollination services, we need bats more than most people know. Bat Basics separates fact from fiction in a fascinating, fun guide to the world's only flying mammals. Author Karen Krebbs has been studying bats for more than 30 years. She lectures, teaches, and even trains government workers on the subject--and now she's sharing her expertise with you.

Learn the Bat Basics , such as how they use echolocation, why they hibernate, and what they eat. Discover bat myths that you probably thought were true. Find out how to bat-proof a house. Then turn to the field guide section, and identify a variety of common and important-to-know species. Projects, activities, and tips for helping the bat population round out this comprehensive guide.

Get Bat Basics , and read all about why bats should be celebrated--not feared.


Author Notes

Karen Krebbs worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for more than 26 years and has extensive knowledge of birds, mammals, deserts, and animal adaptations and behavior. Her passion for hummingbirds has resulted in a book, book chapters, scientific papers, and also a husbandry manual for captive hummingbirds for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Her research on hummingbirds includes migration, nesting biology, behavior, song development, and longevity. Karen regularly advises zoological institutions and aviaries on the proper care and husbandry of captive hummingbirds. She has conducted educational workshops and seminars on birds for various organizations, schools, yearly bird festivals, and local bird groups.

Karen has also studied bats for more than 30 years and carries out lectures and workshops about bats. Her long-term monitoring and inventory research project for bats in the Chiricahua Mountains is in its seventeenth year. She trains government employees on the proper protocol and handling techniques for studying bats. She has led and co-led natural history trips in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Baja, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, and Africa. Karen has a B.Sc. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Bat Senses Hearing & Echolocation: It must be fantastic to fly in total darkness with your ears and without the use of your eyes. This is exactly what bats are capable of doing. Even though bats have average eyesight, the insectivores detect insects, obstacles, other bats, and many other things with the information that their specialized ears detect. Have you ever noticed the large size or the unusual shapes of bat ears? The ears are designed to receive the echo from the sound that bats send out with their mouth. The echoes give the bat all the information it needs to chase an insect or maneuver in flight. Bats can detect shape, size, speed, distance, and just how juicy an insect is from these echoes. The echoes travel to the brain and reveal all kinds of helpful information to make a bat successful. Echolocation is actually sonar. The majority of the sounds are high-intensity, and we cannot hear them with our ears. Some bats emit sounds that are low-intensity, and humans can hear those sounds. These types of bats are called whispering bats. The sounds go through a cycle from slow to fast depending upon the phase of the hunt. In the beginning, bats produce 25 sounds per second when in the search phase. If the bat locates an insect (approach stage), the sounds speed up to 50 per second. Then during the killing or terminal stage, the sounds are produced at 100 per second or greater! This last stage is called the "feeding buzz," as all of the sounds run together in a buzz. All along, the bat is processing this information in its brain, much like a computer processes data. Their amazing ears channel the echoes to their amazing brains! Echolocation may also help bats communicate with each other. Bats that don't use echolocation, such as nectar and fruit bats, do not have specialized ears. These bats primarily orient by vision. Vision: "Blind as a bat" does not apply to the amazing bats. Bats can see just fine, and eyesight is utilized for flying, orientation, distinguishing landmarks, and during migration. Bats that echolocate have small eyes, whereas bats that do not utilize echolocation have large, prominent eyes. Bats with large eyes are flying foxes (fruit bats) or nectar bats, and their vision is well developed. These particular bats feed on plants, nectar, and fruit, and they need their large eyes to find their plant food. Bats with small eyes would not be able to follow or forage on insects in total darkness without echolocation, so their vision is not as developed as bats with large eyes. Many bats do not have cones in their eyes for color vision, but since insectivorous bats are nocturnal, they don't need color vision. Fruit and nectar bats have cones in their eyes to see color, and many are diurnal in behavior. Smell: If you ever venture into a mine or cave that houses numerous bats, you will immediately smell urine or feces. How do bats live in such an environment? Bats have a very high tolerance for these smells and don't seem to mind the strong odors. Smell is important for distinguishing prey (good and bad tasting), as well as for courtship and reproduction, mother and young interactions, social communication, and locating plant food. Excerpted from Bat Basics: How to Understand and Help the Amazing Flying Mammals by Karen Krebbs All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
Bat Evolution & importancep. 11
What Are Bats?p. 12
Bat Fossils and Bat Evolutionp. 13
Bats Todayp. 13
Bat Basicsp. 14
Anatomyp. 14
How Bats Flyp. 16
Bat Sensesp. 16
Dietp. 19
Reproductionp. 20
Hibernationp. 21
Migrationp. 22
Frequently Asked Questionsp. 24
How Common is Rabies?p. 24
Can I Touch/Pet Bats?p. 25
What Do I Do if a Bat's in My House/What if I Find a Sick Bat?p. 25
What is White-Nose Syndrome?p. 25
What are the Cultural Associations with Bats?p. 26
How Do I Bat-Proof My House?p. 27
Bat Myths, Debunkedp. 28
Species Accountsp. 31
Ghost-Faced Batp. 32
Lesser Long-Nosed Batp. 34
Jamaican Fruit-Eating Batp. 36
Mexican Long-Tongued Batp. 38
California Leaf-Nosed Batp. 40
Big Brown Batp. 42
Pallid Batp. 44
Canyon Batp. 46
Tri-colored Batp. 46
Silver-Haired Batp. 48
Eastern Red Batp. 50
Western Red Batp. 50
Hoary Batp. 52
Townsend's Big-Eared Batp. 54
Spotted Batp. 56
Allen's Big-Eared Batp. 58
Rafinesque's Big-Eared Batp. 60
Northern Yellow Batp. 62
Southern Yellow Batp. 62
Western Yellow Batp. 62
Evening Batp. 64
California Myotisp. 66
Western Long-Eared Myotisp. 68
Gray Myotisp. 70
Little Brown Myotisp. 72
Northern Long-Eared Myotisp. 74
Indiana Myotisp. 76
Fringed Myotisp. 78
Cave Myotisp. 80
Mexican Free-Tailed Batp. 82
Big Free-Tailed Batp. 84
Western Mastiff Batp. 86
Bat Projects & Activitiesp. 89
Find the Bats Near Youp. 102
Ask a Bat Researcherp. 107
Websitesp. 120
Reading Listp. 120
Indexp. 122
Notesp. 128
About the Authorp. 128