"The last decade has seen an amazing confluence of new information on the evolutionary history of bats. Discoveries of fabulous new fossils, advances in molecular and morphological methods for phylogenetic reconstruction, new approaches in biomechanics, and emerging prospects of identifying the genes linked to form and function all converge to make this the most exciting of times in the field of bat evolution. Only a few years ago, the early fossil record of bats was close to non-existent, there was no consensus on Familial (or even sub-Ordinal) relationships among bat groups, and ideas on the deep-time origins of bats and the characteristics (flight and laryngeal echolocation) that make them unique among mammals were largely speculative. This book is timely and exciting - synthesizing new information from all of these areas to give a richer and more detailed picture on the evolutionary history of bats than has ever before been possible."
Gary F. McCracken, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
"This is a truly masterful integrative volume on bat evolution, and it will instantly serve as required reading in mammalian evolutionary biology. Drawing on the fossil record, molecular phylogenetics, biogeography, ecomorphology, biomechanics, and developmental biology, the editors and authors have produced the most detailed and up-to-date overview not only of the evolution of bats but of their most striking hallmarks-flight, echolocation, and rich taxonomic and anatomical diversity."
Kristofer M. Helgen, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Presenting some of the most remarkable discoveries and research involving living and fossil bats, this book explores their evolutionary history from a range of perspectives. Topics covered include paleontology and relationships of bats, the evolution and enhancement of echolocation, feeding ecology, population genetic structure, functional morphology and the fossil history.