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"Mary batten's books for inquiring kids and their parents are not just lessons in the wonders of our amazing world. they are also impassioned prayers for its future."


Norfolk Virginian Pilot

FREE BOOK: Through January 1, 2019, you can get my ebook, How To Have Sex If You're Not Human, for free. Take advantage of this special sale. Available for all platforms at Smashwords


NEWS: My newest article, "Busy Beavers," was published in the February 2018 issue of ASK" the children's science magazine. The theme of this issue was rivers. My article deals with the engineering feats of beavers, the largest rodents in North America, creatures that reshape their environments, creating habitats for many other animals.


My article, Making It to the Top," was published in the September 2017 issue of ASK. The theme of this isssue was "Who's the Boss?" This article is about competition for dominance among various animals, including elephant seals, sage grouse and chickens.


My ebook, "How To Have Sex If You're Not Human: Intimate Journeys in Natural History." Ever wonder how other animals "do it"? This book tells all. Insects, mammals, fish -- even avocados and orchids -- do it in wild, bizarre ways. It's available for Kindle, NOOK, and other devices, including iPads and PCs, through Smashwords.
See book trailer on YouTube.


Two of my children's books, "Wild Cats" and "Hungry Plants" are now in French editions for distribution in French Africa and Haiti.


Check out my interview in the British digital magazine, The MDM Wonderlance. For their February "Love" issue, I'm talking about my favorite subject: Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates. Check it out..


NEWS 2010: My books, HUNGRY PLANTS and WILD CATS (both published by Random House) will soon have French editions through the Nouveaux Horizons book program. This program, based out of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, promotes titles written by American authors that teach about science, the environment, and American history and civilization. The books will be available, at very low price or free, in French-speaking Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and Haiti.


NEWS: January 21, 2013: I'm honored to be featured on >Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog


As of November 14, 2012, my podcast EXPLORING NATURE will be on hiatus until further notice. If you missed any of these shows, they are all archived. You can listen to any of them at BlogTalkRadio. The most recent show, November 12, 2012, was on climate change. Other topics have included rape, war -- the culture of death, the anti-science attitude in the U.S., Weirdos of the Animal World, sperm competition, sex differences in psychology and others.


APRIL 2012: I did an interview about HOW TO HAVE SEX IF YOU'RE NOT HUMAN on the radio show, SUSAN RICH TALKS: LOVE AND LIFESTYLE.


NEWS: Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of 2009 - Science Category
The Society of School Librarians International has named PLEASE DON'T WAKE THE ANIMALS an "Honor Book" in the K-6 Science Category.


2009 - Recommended by Kansas State Reading Circle/Kansas National Education Association


2009-2010 Nominee for Emphasis on Reading Program in grades 2-3, sponsored by the Alabama Department of Education

"Full of surprises . . . Batten captures her audience with documentary material that surpasses by far the unpredictability of fantasy. . . . This scientific wordsmith makes kids of us all. She resurrects our sense of wonder."
Bill Ruehlmann
The Virginian-Pilot
July 13, 2008

SEXUAL STRATEGIES is back in print. Check it out on


NEW BOOK - Spring 2008
Do you know how different animals sleep? You can find out in my new book: PLEASE DON'T WAKE THE ANIMALS.
All people sleep. So do all other mammals, but they sleep in different ways. Diurnal animals sleep at night like we do and are active during the day. Nocturnal animals, like bats, owls, and mice, sleep during the day and wake up at night. Birds sleep, too, and some can actually sleep while they are flying. You can find out which ones in my book. Bears and ground squirrels go into a deep winter sleep called hibernation. You'll find all kinds of fascinating facts about sleeping animals in this book. I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

Now in Paperback - Spring 2008

New York City's public schools have selected ALIENS FROM EARTH in support of the 4th grade science requirement for the study of ecosystems. I am very proud that my book about invasive species is now in every 4th grade library in every public elementary school in the five boroughs of New York City.


2006 Izaak Walton League of America Conservation Book of the Year Award

"Every Elementary and middle school in the country needs this wonderful book!"
Elizabeth C. Petersen
Past-President, Science Teachers of Missouri
Chair, District Science Curriculum Committee
Ladue Middle School
St. Louis, MO

HUNGRY PLANTS, my children's book about carnivorous plants, will have a special edition for SRA/McGraw Hill's 2008 Corrective Reading Program.


I am also proud to be featured on the MEET THE AUTHOR television series, produced by the
Fairfax Network, Fairfax County Public Schools. The program about me was originally broadcast on March 8, 2006. Videotapes are available from the Fairfax Network.


I write science books for adults and children, television documentaries, and magazine articles. My work deals with human behavior, ecology, animals, plants, health, disease, stars and galaxies – anything and everything in the natural world. I feel very lucky to be a science writer because I can follow my curiosity wherever my questions take me. I have been privileged to visit tropical rainforests, astronomical observatories, and medical research laboratories. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most insightful, creative scientists on Earth – people who have generously shared their work and their friendship with me. They are too numerous to mention individually, but I thank them all.

The variety of life on our beautiful planet is extraordinary. The intricate interactions among animals and plants in the real world are far more fascinating, wondrous, and bizarre than those any fiction writer could possibly invent. Imagine fish that change sex, plants that trick and seduce insects, animals that have both male and female genitals. All of this happens, some in your own backyard!


My first "field station" was the peanut farm in Smithfield, Virginia, where I grew up. I played in the woods, waded through forest streams, and learned to respect and appreciate animals, plants, and the cycle of seasons, planting, and havesting. I believe there is something in all of us that yearns for wild nature because it is in wilderness that we can feel a connection with our ancient hunter-gatherer past encoded in our genes. In my books, I try to convey the excitement I feel about our extraordinary planet, the diversity of life, and the responsibility that humans have to care for the other species with which we share our global habitat.


My books include Who Has A Belly Button? (Peachtree 2004); Aliens from Earth: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems (Peachtree 2003); Anthropologist: Scientist of the People -- Named Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council (Houghton Mifflin 2001); Hey, Daddy! (Peachtree 2002); Wild Cats (Random House 2002); Hungry Plants (Random House, 2000); The Winking, Blinking Sea -- Named one of the Best Children's Books for 2001 (Millbrook Press, 2000); Extinct! Creatures of the Past (Golden Books, 2000); Baby Wolf (Grosset and Dunlap, 1998); Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates, (Tarcher/Putnam, 1994); Nature's Tricksters (Sierra Club Books/Little Brown, 1992), Discovery By Chance (Funk and Wagnalls) and The Tropical Forest: Ants, Ants, Animals and Plants (T.Y. Crowell). I have appeared on OPRAH. TOM SNYDER and various other television shows.


My magazine articles are published in a variety of publications, including Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Modern Maturity, Shape, International Wildlife, ZooNooz (the San Diego Zoological Society's magazine), Science Digest, Calypso Log, and the children's magazines, ASK, National Geographic World, and Dolphin Log.


I was nominated for an Emmy for my work on the Children's Television Workshop's science series 3-2-1-CONTACT, and I have written some 50 nature documentaries for television series, including the syndicated WILD WILD WORLD OF ANIMALS (Time-Life Films) and others for National Geographic and Disney Educational Films.


My magazine article for Science Digest, "Sexual Choice: The Female's Newly Discovered Role," won The Newswomen's Club of New York's Front Page Award for best feature story.


One of my most rewarding and exciting jobs was editor of The Cousteau Society's award-winning membership magazine, Calypso Log. Until recently, I was editor in chief of, a website for breast cancer patients and their families. This was also extremely satisfying work because we were providing information about new research and therapies that can help people to make more informed decisions about breast cancer treatment.


My family are all in the arts: my husband, composer Ed Bland; children -- writer Robert Bland and dancer/choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland.