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M. Brock Fenton.

Toronto, University of Toronto Press, c1983.
165pp, paper, $25.00 (cloth), $9.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-8020-2452-1 (cloth), 0-8020-6464-7 (paper).

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

Brock Fenton is a professor of biology at Carleton University and research associate in the department of mammalogy at the Royal Ontario Museum. As he points out several times in his book, bats are not most people's favourite mammals. They have been persecuted for a variety of reasons, most of these nourished by the unknown and fear.

The bat is basically nocturnal and difficult to catch or observe for study. Fenton's purpose in this book is to point out what is known and the need for bats in our ecological cycle. In this way he hopes we will come to understand and appreciate the bats. In a most readable fashion, the author discusses bats' flight, echolocation abilities, senses, diets, reproduction, roost problems, diseases, and population fluctuations. Black-and-white sketches are used to point out significant differences among the species. While it is true there are vampire bats in the tropics of the Americas and some do carry rabies, bats appear to be much more beneficial than harmful to man, especially those of the temperate regions.

As with most people, bats were not one of my favourite dinner topics. However, I found this book enjoyable reading and very informative. It would be a very valuable asset to any library.

Hugh A. Cook, Calico P. S., Downsview, ON
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