Phil Richardson

In this book expert Phil Richardson takes you on a guided tour of the nocturnal world of bats, exploring all aspects of their lives.

978 0 565 09275 7
February 2011
253 x 192 mm
128 pp
Over 100 colour photographs
Natural History Museum


Amazing, fascinating, bizarre are words that barely start to describe the bats of the world. Some are big and some tiny. Many have a diet of insects and fruit, yet there are others with more unusual tastes in food – such as the fisherman bat which uses its claws to catch fish and the unjustly demonized blood-eating vampire bats.

In this fully revised and reformatted edition of Bats expert Phil Richardson takes the reader on a guided tour of the nocturnal world of bats: where they live, how they feed, and how they survive in almost every habitat on the planet. He uses his experiences of bat watching around the world to describe their complex life cycles, explaining how you can watch and study bats and help conserve these often threatened mammals. He also introduces many of the different species that have fitted so well into the environment.

Bats will not fly into your hair and they are not blind, though most find their food and avoid obstacles in the darkness of night not by vision but by using their remarkable and highly developed sense of echolocation. Their role in pollination is crucial to the environment in which they live. 

Wherever you live, there are likely to be bats near you, so discover more with the help of this highly readable and beautifully illustrated book, now updated with striking new images and the latest research.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content. 

Pages from Bats

Bat evolution and biology

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Classification of bats

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Bat biology explored

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Bat evolution and biology

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Bat diversity

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Bat distribution and structure

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Bat tails


Phil Richardson, once a science teacher but now a bat ecologist, spends days, nights and holidays working with bats. He helped popularise bats in the UK by making them appealing to the public in TV and radio presentations, and in the setting up of a number of volunteer bat groups and the Bat Conservation Trust, the UK national body involved in bat conservation.


Find out what others think of this book.

"The latest titles in this outstanding series from London’s Natural History Museum live up to the high standards of their predecessors. The experts’ easy to follow text explains everything from how bat echolocation works to the hydrastatic muscles in a frog’s tongue, and is matched with well-chosen photos, charts, diagrams and illustrations."

Review of Bats and our Frogs and Toads book - BBC Wildlife Magazine

"Highly readable and beautifully illustrated"

Surrey Nature Magazine

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