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Unloved, misunderstood, overlooked and considerably unlovely: No, it is not your average teenager in today’s world but the Bat, the most misunderstood, maligned and often feared species of animal imaginable, considering the amount of wildlife information available via the wonderful world of easily accessible technology.

Somehow, Bats simply have not made it into the list of animals to get to know and love, as they are definitely not cute, at least not by the standards used to define cute in the human world, tend to move very rapidly, are found in the early evenings or in the dark of night going about their lawful business, and in many cases emit a high pitched noise. Some are tiny and some have a wing span as wide as an adult is high. Most species are dark in colour thought this may vary, with faces reminiscent of gargoyles. What is there not to love?

As Tessa Laird goes on to explain there is actually a  lot to love and admire  about Bats; there is a huge amount to respect about the way they fill a massively important link in the ecology of the world and the environment, about the way they use their echolocation abilities to hunt, recycle and replant. They have a finely developed society which is unique to their species and environment.

Sophisticated and defying what the scientist have always tried to understand, the Bat is a highly evolved creature, with many of its unique characteristics having been utilised in early efforts of flight by Leonardo da Vinci (1486-90) and then Frenchman Clement Adler, who created a steam powered, bat shaped aircraft in 1890.

In 1938 Donald Griffin discovers Bats brilliant ability to echolocate and in 2014 bats were blamed for the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, which was later debated. Sadly thousands of bats were killed before this took place.

As you work through this very easy and entertaining read book about Bats, a much clearer understanding of their vitally important role in the environment becomes apparent.  It also becomes apparent that they feature heavily in the world of horror stories thanks to Bram Stoker and his story Dracula published in 1897. Batman followed in 1939 giving bats whole new persona.

The Arts have also shown Bats off in various creations and from a scientific perspective, their droppings have been used to form gunpowder used during the American Civil War. The Chinese were already using the droppings from the caves to create gunpowder from the saltpetre for their fireworks.

Revered, painted, abhorred, had poetry and prose written about them, and loved, Bats are incredibly unique creatures with still much to understand about their species, lifestyle and characteristics. Unfortunately, they like many other species are becoming challenged as more and more land is cleared globally, trees felled, with the smoke from the fires affecting their habitats.

Next time you are fortunate enough to see a Bat colony living and working in their own environment, spend a little time to appreciate what it is about Bats that make them such an important aspect of our world, environmentally and ecologically.


Author Tessa Laird
ISBN 9781780238944
Distributor New South Books
Released May 2018