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Do Bats Drink Blood?

Do Bats Drink Blood? Fascinating Answers to Questions about Bats

Barbara A. Schmidt-French and Carol A. Butler

Publication Year: 2009

Bat biologist Barbara A. Schmidt-French and writer Carol A. Butler offer a compendium of insightful facts about bats in this accessible and expertly written question-and-answer volume. Numbering more than one thousand species in our world today, bats in the wild are generally unthreatening. Like most other mammals, bats are curious, affectionate, and even playful with one another.

Highly beneficial animals, bats are critical to global ecological, economic, and public health. Do Bats Drink Blood? illuminates the role bats play in the ecosystem, their complex social behavior, and how they glide through the night sky using their acute hearingùecholocation skills that have helped in the development of navigational aids for the blind. Personal in voice with the perspective of a skilled bat researcher, this book explores wideranging topics as well as common questions people have about bats, providing a trove of fascinating facts.

Featuring rare color and black-and-white photographs, including some by renowned biologist, photographer, and author Merlin Tuttle, Do Bats Drink Blood? provides a comprehensive resource for general readers, students, teachers, zoo and museum enthusiasts, farmers and orchardists, or anyone who may encounter or be fascinated by these extraordinary animals.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-viii

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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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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...


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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


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pp. 123-148


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pp. 149-156

About the Authors

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E-ISBN-13: 9780813548401
E-ISBN-10: 0813548403
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813545882

Page Count: 176
Illustrations: 41 illustrations. 25 black and white illustrations and 16 color illustrations
Publication Year: 2009