A Miscellany of Bats

  • Packed with stunning photography and new discoveries.
  • Covering all aspects of bat biodiversity, ecology and natural history.
  • An entertaining and personal vision of bats’ central place in the universe from two legends in the field.
    We currently have 924 in stock.

    • Two of the world’s leading bat scientists, photographers and communicators illustrate the wonder of bats with clarity and beauty, drawing on a wealth of personal experiences over many decades and on recent research from across the world.
      —Prof. Gareth Jones, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol
    • bats
    • chiroptera
    • new


    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. More than 150 species are covered.

    DOI: 10.53061/LLFU5654

    Table of Contents


    1. Introducing bats
    Wings and size
    Blind as a bat
    Catching and identifying bats
    Marking and tagging
    Brock’s initiation
    Jens’ start
    Box: What on Earth?

    2. Bat wings and flight
    Wing anatomy
    White wings
    How fast do bats fly?
    Flying antics
    Box: Colour in bats

    3. Seeing with sound
    The perils of generalization
    Basic echolocation
    Why echolocate?
    Echolocation and the faces of bats
    Box: Beam control and bite power

    4. Echolocation: a window onto bat behaviour
    Biologists as eavesdroppers on bats
    Insect prey
    Bat communication
    Air traffic control
    Box: Echolocation and foraging

    5. What bats eat, part 1
    Learning how much a bat consumes
    Some bats eat birds
    What insects do bats eat?
    Specialized hunting
    Box: Diets of bats

    6. What bats eat, part 2
    Fruit-eating species
    Bats and flowers
    Box: The curious case of bananas

    7. Vampire bats

    8. Where bats occur and where they roost
    Bat roosts
    Box: Patterning in bats
    Lingering challenges
    Bats up north
    Box: Bat boxes

    9. Social lives of bats
    What is a colony of bats?
    Food availability and social patterns
    Box: Observational learning

    10. How bats use space
    Box: Bats get around

    11. Threats to bats
    Wind turbines
    Light pollution
    A world without bats?
    Global change
    Box: Keeping bats away

    12. Bats and people
    Attitudes towards bats
    Bats and disease
    Bats as symbols

    13. Bats as beings
    A last word to the bats

    Cast of bats


    • Two of the world’s leading bat scientists, photographers and communicators illustrate the wonder of bats with clarity and beauty, drawing on a wealth of personal experiences over many decades and on recent research from across the world.
      —Prof. Gareth Jones, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol
    • Fenton and Rydell, the 'power couple' of bat photography and ecology have created an up-to-date review of bat behavior and physiology with superb imagery.
      —Prof. Yossi Yovel, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University
    • Filled with fascinating and interesting facts about the world of bats, as the authors discuss many aspects of bat-related research, based on their own experiences acquired over many years, as well as research carried out by others around the planet.
      —Neil Middleton, author of Social Calls of the Bats of Britain and Ireland, The Effective Ecologist, and Is That A Bat?
    • A delightful read. The casual, first-person narrative invites the reader to experience learning about bats in a way that reflects the joy and enthusiasm of the venerable authors. The book is a testament to the fascinating lives of bats and to life-long friendships among bat biologist colleagues.
      —Dr. Winifred F. Frick, Bat Conservation International
    • This book is a visual and intellectual treat that will delight anyone interested in bats. Lavishly illustrated with amazing photographs, it shows us not only what scientists now know about bats, but also tells the story of bat research and the people who do it. This book brings the hard work and the thrill of scientific discovery — and the bats themselves — alive in a uniquely accessible and engaging way.
      —Dr Nancy Simmons, Curator-in-charge, Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History
    • A visual spectacle with amazing photos on every page. Jens and Brock use photographs to tell the stories of bats in a fascinating and captivating manner. A fun read for the specialist and non-specialist alike. The material is accessible for all audiences and even the experienced bat biologist will find some new nuggets of information. And everyone will appreciate the visual storytelling style. The book is filled with the wonderful photographic catalogue that Jens and Brock have spent their careers gathering. The photos in this book are a wonderful way to see bats in a way that few people will get to experience in person.
      —Liam McGuire, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo
    • This captivating book is chock full of stunning photos and fascinating facts about bats around the world. It contains information about bat specializations, natural behaviors and impacts on human society, all of which will be of great interest to a broad readership, from students and educators to conservationists and scientists.
      —Prof. Cindy Moss, Director of the Bat Lab, Johns Hopkins University
    • A Miscellany of Bats is a well-written and interesting—and often absorbing—book, in which the authors convey their enthusiasm for studying this unique group of animals...Difficult concepts are simplified and the very readable text is largely accessible to general readers who might be interested in bats but have no particular background in either biology or natural history.
      —Danny A. Brass, NSS News
    • Fascinating and wonderful...I can't find any fault with this book. And would recommend it to anyone, with just about any level of existing knowledge of bats.
      —Al Milano, Bat Detecting blog
    • As a bat researcher, I advise everyone with or without a scientific interest in bats to read this precious book carefully. The book's 244 pages will undoubtedly lead you to a long time relationship with bats!
      —Ludmilla Aguiar, Brazilian Society of Bats
    • ...a thoroughly readable book of batty facts, and batty mysteries.
      —Tony Atkinson, Mammal News
    • If you have an interest in bats (and what naturalist does not?), this book is a good read and a very accessible way into bat research... The book is written by renowned experts and with world class photography and is a valuable addition to a natural history book collection.
      —David Skydmore, British Naturalist
    • It is not just that A Miscellany of Bats provides facts and figures, it is that there is so much more to know about bats than most of us realize, and both Brock Fenton and the late Jens Rydell convey that knowledge to the lay audience, the text filtering the multifaceted and often highly technical aspects of bat study through the lens of accessibility to the non-scientist.
      —Animal Alliance of Canada
    • Three things set A Miscellany of Bats apart. For one, the authors are outstanding photographers. The images in this book are second to none. Second, there is a lovely exploration of the roles bats play in human cultures, and much of what is covered here is not in those other volumes.
      —Daniel Riskin, University of Toronto, Quarterly Review of Biology

    About the Author

    Brock Fenton is 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.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 256 pages
    • 280 colour photographs, 6 spectrograms
    • 2 tables
    • BISAC SCI070030, SCI020000, NAT019000, NAT011000