Meet Nils Bouillard on Episode 15 of the Mammalwatching Podcast

We interviewed Nils Bouillard for the latest episode of the podcast. Nils is a young Belgian biologist who specializes in bat acoustics. In 2019 Nils set out to spend a year traveling the world to try to record as many bat species as possible. His Big Bat Year, the first of its kind, took him across 6 continents and 400 bat species. Nils talks about what drew him to bats and a Big Bat Year, and the many adventures he has had along the way including that time he caught bats with a Sinaloan drug cartel looking on.

Here is the YouTube trailer.

You can listen on your favorite podcast platform or here




  • Vladimir Dinets

    There’s a lot of controversy around that story about humans standing on hero shrews. First, it’s never been confirmed by anyone else, so some people say it’s been invented (I have no opinion on this – have seen weirder things proven true). Second, if it is true, it cannot be explained by the spine structure: the spine is very strong but it doesn’t protect the internal organs. The function was thought to be protection from boulders in talus slopes, but then the second species was discovered in a completely different habitat.

  • Charles

    Here is the paper by Stanley that I was basing this segment on:

    I’ve never heard of the talus slopes hypothesis. What is the reference to that?

    Clearly a PhD waiting to be pounced on…..

  • Vladimir Dinets

    You got me here… I read it so long ago that I don’t remember the source. But I swear I’m not making this up.
    I’m not sure about this being good Ph.D material. What if you spend five summer breaks in Central Africa and never catch a single hero shrew? They seem to be difficult to find: I’ve only seen one and it was under exceptional circumstances.

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