The Bat Scientists
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The Bat Scientists

by Mary Kay Carson

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Bat scientist Dr. Merlin Tuttle and his colleagues at Bat Conservation International study these fascinating creatures of the night, in hopes of protecting them from a new disease called White-nose symdrome, which threatens many species’ very existence.


Bat scientist Dr. Merlin Tuttle and his colleagues at Bat Conservation International study these fascinating creatures of the night, in hopes of protecting them from a new disease called White-nose symdrome, which threatens many species’ very existence.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Whether describing the physics of echolocation or the present crisis of white-nose syndrome, Carson encourages readers to rethink stereotypes about creatures once scorned as flying vermin and shows how intricately their survival is tied to our own."—Booklist, starred review 

"A strong scientific look at a unique and often unloved mammal and the scientists who happily investigate them"—School Library Journal

Praise for Emi and the Rhino Scientist

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year
A Parent’s Choice Award Winner in Non-Fiction
A Booklist Top 10 Sci-Tech Books for Youth 2008
A Booklist Top 10 Books on the Enviroment for Youth 2008
A Junior Library Guild Selection

* “Top-notch nonfiction…A captivating telescopic view of a unique animal.”—Booklist, starred review
* "The emphasis on reproductive science and zoo work both make this an unusual addition to the admirable Scientists in the Field series, one that should be welcome in high-school as well as middle-school libraries."—Kirkus, starred review
"Through lively prose and stunning full-color photographs, readers learn how Terri Roth, an expert in endangered-species reproduction, helped Emi to give birth to the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 100 years...Like many of the entries in this popular series, Emi is an engaging and informative."—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
Frequently encountered as fantastic creatures in myth and legend, bats are a very real part of our world, complete with the alarming designation (for some species) of endangered. "Bat Basics" and "Bat Benefits" introduce the world of these small mammals accompanied by beautiful photographs and a colorful map identifying the habitats of bats around the world. Accompanying the narrative of bats native to North America is the story of how bat conservationist Merlin Tuttle found his calling. As a high school and college student, Tuttle studied gray bats. His research resulted in the rewriting of accepted science about grey bat migration. He founded Bat Conservation International, a non-profit organization working to protect bats and their habitats worldwide. Also a skilled photographer, Tuttle's photographs are powerful and stunning artillery (some of these images appear in this book) in his fight to protect bats and their habitats. Carson describes the different approaches to studying bats, the efforts to discover their secrets, preserve their habitats and the race to save bats in danger of extinction from white-nose syndrome, a fungus disease of unknown origins. This book, part of the "Scientists In The Field" series, is packed with facts and information supported by contrast-colored sidebars listing details related to the text and simple and effective graphs along with the photographs. Carson has delivered a book that will influence every reader, increasing his/her appreciation of bats and hopefully, encouraging some to work in the field of bat conservation. This book concludes with a list of resources titled "Learn More about Bats," a glossary titled "Words to Know," and an index and is highly recommended as a resource in classes studying zoology, mammalogy and/or habitat/ecosystem conservation. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This series entry takes readers along with Merlin Tuttle and a crew of BCI (Bat Conservation International) into bat caves and bridges, trees and houses to study these agile flitterers. Carson's readable, informative text dispels the ugly myths that have haunted these nocturnal hunter/gatherers, detailing bats' usefulness to humankind from gobbling up mosquitoes to scarfing down corn earworm moths to pollinating a multitude of plants throughout the rain forest. Replete with superb close-ups of big ears, hairless pups, furrowed faces, and fragile wings, the text describes the damage done by humans to bat environments and the ravages of white-nose syndrome, and tells of efforts to restore and protect hibernating sites and maternity colonies. Readers not ready for this richness of detail should enjoy Laurence Pringle's Handsome Bats (Boyds Mills, 2000), while those wanting more can plunge into Sandra Markle's elegant Inside and Outside Bats (S & S/Atheneum, 1997). Readers in the "more, more, more" contingent can investigate Karen Taschek's more challenging Hanging with Bats (Univ. of Mexico Press, 2008). A strong scientific look at a unique and often unloved mammal and the scientists who happily investigate them.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
The "ick" factor is high in this latest title in the Scientists in the Field series describing patient field work, rescue and conservation efforts to save bats. The survival of these valuable but poorly understood nocturnal mammals is threatened by habitat loss, human fears and a mysterious disease. An opening trip with a gas-masked bat expert wading through mounds of droppings in an ammonia-filled cave is followed by visits to a rehabilitator with bats in her barn, a caver who not only researches bats but builds gates to keep them safe in their breeding and winter habitats, a scientist who finds bats under bridges and supervises building bat shelters and finally a night mist-net expedition with a Ph.D. candidate. Though the striking cover shows zoo-dwelling vampire bats from Central or South America, the focus of the text is bat research in this country. Woven into particular researchers' stories is an enormous amount of information about bat biology and behavior. Uhlman's photographs are clearly identified in context and the backmatter supports further research. (Learn more, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Scientists in the Field Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.04(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.30(d)
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Kay Carson and Tom Uhlman are married and live with their dog Ruby in a century-old house surrounded by deer, hawks, woodchucks, songbirds, and other creatures in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tom Uhlman has been a freelance photographer for 25 years. He photographs lots of news and sporting events, but enjoys shooting pictures of wildlife and the natural world most of all. Visiting some of the most famous volcanos in the world and meeting the people who study them was a special treat. Tom's photographs can also be seen in upcoming Scientists in the Field book Park Scientists, and previously in Emi and the Rhino Scientist and The Bat Scientists

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