Author: Merlin Tuttle
Title: The Secret Lives of Bats
Publication Info: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
I remember one time as a child playing lawn darts at dusk in my neighbors’ yard. I lost sight of the dart and then noticed that it seemed to be flying up, only to realize that it was actually a bat. My friend and I ran screaming indoors, not realizing that game we were playing was probably more dangerous than our neighborhood bats. Over time, I grew to admire bats partly for their contributions to a healthy ecosystem, but mostly for being marvelous creatures. In this wonderful memoir, Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International, details his lifelong love of the flying mammals and constantly running up against the fear and hatred of bats in his fellow humans. As a child, Tuttle crawled through local caves to tag migrating bats, his descriptions giving me vicarious claustrophobia. All through the book Tuttle extols the virtues of bats, from consuming tons of pestilent insects to spreading the seeds of plants, and even affecting the mating rituals of frogs. In addition to traveling the world to study bats, Tuttle taught himself how to photograph the animals, inventing tricks of the trade to create compelling photographs published in National Geographic, or elsewhere. If you love bats, you’ll love this book, and if you fear bats, well this book may change your mind.