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Book Reviews
These reviews of books and other forms of information express the opinions of the individual reviewers and are not necessarily endorsed by the Editorial Board of this Journal. – Philip I. Marston, Book Review Editor
   Bat Bioacoustics
M. Brock Fenton, Alan D. Grinnel, Arthur N. Popper, and Richard R. Fay
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media, New York, 2016, 304 pp.
Price: $139.00 (hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-4939-3525-3
This book is a “must have” for anyone studying bat behavior, the bat sensory system, bat echolocation and foraging strat- egy and behavior, communications, all aspects of bat hear- ing, and so on. The editors have organized an impressive list of contributors that are “world class” researchers and have been able to contribute by writing chapters in this book. Scientists from ten countries are represented in this volume. This orga- nizing task cannot be taken lightly with the busy schedule that top notch scientists and academics keep. The book is dedicat- ed to the memory of Annemarie Surlykke (1955–2015) of the University of Southern Denmark who did stellar research in both bat and dolphin biosonar.
A history of the study of echolocation in bats is the subject of the first chapters written by Alan Grinnel, Edwin Gould, and M. Brock Fenton. This chapter sets a good tone for the rest of the book and is very thoughtfully written, enlightening, and interesting with good pictures of bat scientists perform- ing field work, having fun and enjoying each other’s company. As a dolphin researcher interacting with the “bat people” for many years at different scientific meetings I always knew that many of them shared great comradery, but kept their inde- pendent perspectives and ideas. Yet many of them were very cooperative, had friendly and often heated arguments and en- joyed competition of ideas and shared a common joy of field work most likely in distant jungles, rugged mountain terrain, and large caves. Field work and laboratory studies are inter- mixed in this area of study with several chapters discussing
results from both field and lab work in a seamless fashion. The first chapter provided a good history in the development of bat bioacoustics research, highlighting the key individuals and their contributions and the development of knowledge and understanding gained in the past sixty plus years.
The book is very broad in scope consisting of 11 chapters. The “Overview” at the end of Chapter 1 describing the layout of this book and a summary of each chapter is excellent and will not be repeated here. One worthwhile statement in the overview that is worth quoting is “Although this book focus- es on the bioacoustics of bats, it repeatedly connects to top- ics in basic biology, functional morphology, evolution, and diversification.” This single sentence emphasizes my earlier statement that this book is a “must” for anyone interested in studying bats.
Biosonar and communications are the principle features of bat bioacoustics. The same organs are used for the produc- tion and reception of signals. Communications cover lon- ger distances than biosonar since biosonar by its nature is for shorter ranges mainly because of the low reflectivity of prey and the two way versus one way acoustic propagation loss. The biosonar function is extremely complex, perhaps much more than we can appreciate. The prey (mainly moths and insects) are moving rapidly, not in a linear manner but in a somewhat haphazard fashion. The bat is also moving, chasing the prey. The bat must detect, discriminate, localize, and compute the trajectory of the prey. It must compensate for its own speed and using sonar returns compute a trajec- tory that will cause it to intercept the insect prey. Often, the preys are flying amongst branches and leaves of trees which act as unwanted clutter. This process is going on while other bats are also hunting and introducing interference by their signals or reflection from prey from their signals. It should also be noted that not all species of bat echolocate. Some species of bat tend to eavesdrop on the echoes from insect that other bats are ensonifying while others listen for sounds that certain insects such as crickets produce. Bat Bioacoustics covers all the elements involved with the bat biosonar and acoustic communications from the production and anatomy of the sound generation mechanism, the neurophysiology of hearing and echolocation, the anatomy of receptor (ears) along with the micromanipulation of the ear shape to best improve echo signal-to-noise and signal-to-cutter ratio in
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volume 13, issue 3 | Fall 2017 | Acoustics Today | 69

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