A Unique Mammalian Radiation
With more than two hundred species distributed from California through Texas, across most of mainland Mexico, Central and South America, and islands in the Caribbean Sea, the Phyllostomidae bat family (American leaf-nosed bats) is one of the world’s most diverse mammalian families. From an insectivorous ancestor, species living today have over about 30 million years evolved a hyper-diverse range of diets, from blood or small vertebrates, to consuming nectar, pollen, and fruit. Phyllostomid plant-visiting species are responsible for pollinating over five-hundred species of shrubs, trees, vines, and epiphytes of the Americas—many of which are economically and ecologically important—and they also disperse the seeds of at least another five-hundred plant species. Fruit-eating and seed-dispersing members of this family thus play a crucial role in the regeneration of neotropical forests, and the fruit eaters are among the most abundant mammals in these habitats.
Written by leading experts in the field and synthesizing the latest advances in molecular biology and ecology, Phyllostomid Bats is the first overview in more than forty years of the evolution of the many morphological, behavioral, physiological, and ecological adaptations in this family. Featuring abundant illustrations as well as details on the current classification and conservation status of phyllostomid species, it is both a comprehensive reference for these ecologically vital mammals and a fascinating exploration of the evolutionary process of adaptive radiation.
Finally, a comprehensive overview
With 24 richly illustrated chapters, Phyllostomid Bats offers a comprehensive overview of an extraordinary group of mammals. Reviewing thousands of recent contributions, many by the book's authors, Phyllostomid Bats is the perfect introduction for the budding naturalist, while serving as a key reference for the seasoned specialist!