Vampire Bats - That Live Entirely on Blood.

June 21, 2018
The legend of the vampire came first before vampire bats was discovered, and, it's not the other way around. Vampire Bats sleep during the day in darkness, upside down.  They usually live in groups of 1,000 or more and hunt in the darkest part of the night targeting usually sleeping cattle and horses. Vampire Bats are the only mammals that can fly and also the ones that feed entirely on blood.

The three vampire bat species -

The common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) feeds primarily on the blood of mammals ranging from tapirs to horses to the occasional human and seems to have a preference for livestock animals.

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) lives almost exclusively on bird blood.

The white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi) is more versatile and drinks blood from both birds and mammals.

There's a heat sensor on the nose to strike the artery. The presence of Plasminogen in the saliva prevents the blood that the bats drink from clotting. Vampire Bats have this unique trait of regurgitating blood to feed  those who didn't have a good day in hunting. They make sure they return the favor to their partners and if this doesn't happen a cold shoulder wouldn't be surprising if asked for help the next time. They also seem to be friendly with humans as one researcher would call out the names and they'd appear.

They consume an ounce of blood at every meal. This would mean that they actually drank as half of their body weight during 20-30 minute feeding session. There is a well developed sense of smell with finely tuned hearing and specialized neurons that react to the sound of breathing. This enables them to distinguish the breathing sounds by different individuals and so allows them to return them to the same reliable source of blood night after night.

The vampire bats would usually prefer the blood of livestock but they'd be up for humans if given the chance. Since they consume only about a tablespoon of blood, there is nothing big to worry about although getting a rabies shot is highly recommendable if found bitten.

They don't suck blood. They lap up blood like cats. They make a small cut with their sharp teeth and lap up the flowing blood.  They are so skilled and agile that a thirty minute feeding session sometimes doesn't wake up their prey. Since it doesn't pain the animal this becomes possible in many cases.  

Post Written by -  Adap Immanuel Teron

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