Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Merlin D. Tuttle's "The Secret Lives of Bats"

Merlin Tuttle is a leading expert on bats who has studied and photographed hundreds of species worldwide for more than 50 years. He founded Bat Conservation International and Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation where he is now Executive Director.

Tuttle applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures With the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals, and reported the following:
Page 99 of The Secret Lives of Bats describes a discovery that enabled amazing new insights into the world of bats and their incredible intelligence. For frog-eating bats, learning and remembering the unique courtship calls of the dozens of frog species in a Latin American rain forest is a life and death matter. Some are a rich source of nutrition while others are deadly poisonous or large enough to eat a bat. While studying these amazing bats at the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama, I discovered that they could be trained by humans and even remembered to come on call and when inadvertently recaptured years later! The book weaves stunning facts and world famous photos of bats in action with my truly incredible adventures, ranging from standoffs with moonshiners and being captured by bandits and communist guerrillas to escaping charging elephants and stalking lions. By sharing highlights from a lifetime of discovery and adventure, I take readers on a whirlwind tour of research and conservation frontiers and forever change the way we see these long misunderstood yet fascinating masters of our night skies. Through my personal experiences I show that in reality bats have one of our planet’s finest records of living safely with humans, are essential to the health of whole ecosystems, contribute billions of dollars annually to human economies and protect our health by reducing needs for chemical pesticides. Free of jargon and full of adventure and discovery, this book is a real page-turner.
Visit Merlin D. Tuttle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue