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Two books on Bats; Jan 2008
on 21 January 2008
There are two books on bats by Phil Richardson and both have the same title: "Bats". This has caused a certain amount of confusion and if either of these books are accessed on Amazon, one arrives at the same series of reviews where it is not always clear which book a review refers to. I certainly was confused. Both books are available at present.
The first book was published by Whillet Books in 1985. It was reprinted several times and a revised edition appeared in 2000, which has also been reprinted. It is a very good introduction to bats particularly the 16 species that live in the U.K. The writing is lighthearted and the zany illustrations by Guy Troughton complement the writing excellently. The book is given a very direct feeling by the accounts of the author's hands-on experiences in the field with the Northampton Bat Group. He explains many behaviours but is not afraid to discuss the things that are not understood. If you live in Britain and want an introduction to the bats that live here it is a must.
The second book was published in London in 2002 by the Natural History Museum and reprinted in 2004. This book complements the first excellently but has a completely different feel. Gone is the humour, and the drawings are mainly replaced with excellent photographs. Though British bats have a place, the author looks, mainly, at the differences in behaviour and structure that occur in the 900 odd species that do not occur in the British Isles. Like the first book, echolocation, bat detectors and general construction are considered, but as bats that live in warmer parts of the world do not need to hibernate they can have a very different life style and eat a wider range of food. Almost 1 in 5 of all mammals are bats and if you want an introduction to their diverse world you will not regret buying this book.