Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

Have you ever actually seen a live bat up close? For most people, the answer is probably no, yet many cringe at the very idea of seeing a bat. This reaction is probably based in part on horror stories and creepy movies that depict bats flying around at night causing mayhem. It is revealing that in countries where day-flying...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

We are grateful to the following people and organizations for allowing us to use their amazing illustrations and photographs for this book: the American Museum of Natural History in New York; Jesse Barber, Colorado State University; Alexander Baugh, University of Texas at Austin; Kirsten Bohn, University of Texas...

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One: Bat Basics

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pp. 1-21

Question 1: What is a bat?
Answer: Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly. They have elongated fi ngers that are connected by membranes to their torso, forming their wings. In common with all mammals, they have hair or fur covering their bodies and they are endotherms, which means they generate their own body heat instead of...

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Two: Bat Bodies

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pp. 22-33

Question 1: How are bats different from birds?
Answer: Bats and birds are vertebrates, and many species have comparable diets of insects or fruit, with plenty of exceptions, of course. Most birds forage during the day, while most bats forage during the night, so they don’t really compete directly for...

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Three: Bat Life

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pp. 34-52

Question 1: What do bats eat?
Answer: Bats eat a surprising variety of foods. About 70 percent of bats are insectivorous, meaning they eat insects such as moths, caterpillars, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, planthoppers, leafhoppers, crickets, termites, mosquitoes, and flying ants...

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Four: Bat Behavior

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pp. 53-71

Question 1: How does echolocation work?
Answer: Echolocation is a sonar-like method used by many bats and a few other animals to navigate or search for food. Many bats use echolocation to find and catch flying insects, to avoid obstacles in their path, and to locate their roost in a cave or other dark place. Some bats also use echolocation to communicate...

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Five: Bat Love

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pp. 72-80

Question 1: How does a bat attract a mate?
Answer: Groups in which multiple males roost with multiple females are common among bats. Males of some of these species establish mating territories either within or away from the main roost. They position themselves in these roosts to attract mates by emitting courtship vocalizations, performing courtship displays...

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Six: Dangers and Defenses

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pp. 81-92

Question 1: Are bats aggressive?
Answer: Bats are generally shy, reclusive animals that prefer to hide. They are unlikely to attack people, except under unusual circumstances (see chapter 6, question 2: Do bats bite people?). However, some species, like the solitary eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis), chase intruding bats out of their feeding...

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Seven: Bats and People

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pp. 93-118

Question 1: Why are people afraid of bats? Answer: There is no reason to be afraid of bats. However, a quick glimpse of a bat darting out from a tree at twilight could possibly startle a person—it is a natural response, especially to an animal that is rarely seen clearly. If we saw a cat under...

Images

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pp. A-H

Appendix A: Resources

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pp. 119-120

Appendix B: Suggestions for Further Reading

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pp. 121-122

References

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pp. 123-148

Index

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pp. 149-156

About the Authors

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