They only come out at Twilight   Leave a comment

We brought the subject up a few weeks ago, and now lots of people are asking “What’s the deal with Vampire Bats?” (really they’re asking “Tell us all the GORY details about vampire bats!!”). Well, don’t be disappointed but there’s not that many gory things to say – but there are a lot of interesting facts that you won’t find in a Holywood blood-sucker movie.

Everything that’s alive has to eat. Plants, animals, insects, even bacteria all eat; and each eat different things. So eating blood is just a normal way of life for a Vampire Bat (there are three different species: Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus); Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat (Diphylla ecaudata); and White-Winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus youngi)). None of them are bad, or evil, or even particularly mean – each of them is just living the best way it can, and the way they’ve lived for thousands of years. And their entire eating-blood-meal isn’t as thrilling as what’s in the movies, either. These flying mammals (they’re not birds!) just locates an animal by heat, size and distance through specialized sensors in the bats nose; then the bat lands near the animal, quietly walks over and makes a small bite, then licks up the blood from the wound. The bats saliva contains a material called Draculin (well, that is a little odd), which keeps the blood flowing easily for a few minutes so Batty can get a full meal, but overall the entire process is very un-dramatic. And no, the animals they drink blood from don’t turn into vampires themselves, or even have any harmful side effects or much pain from being bitten. Most animals – usually large wild and domestic mammals like cows and horses, but also sometimes smaller animals or birds – are asleep when the bat bites them, so they don’t even know they’ve been bitten. And Vampire Bats are the only type of bats that will adopt and raise baby bats, if the baby’s parents are missing. Who doesn’t think that’s adorable??

Common VampireBat Louisville Zoo WIKI

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”.

There are no wild Vampire Bats naturally in the United States, and bats don’t particularly like being around humans, so the chance of you being bitten is just about zero. If you do ever see a bat that is out in the daytime, or acting strangely, it’s probably sick so stay away and the best way to help it is to find someone who’s experienced working with wildlife.

What’s REALLY bizarre about Vampire Bats is that blood doesn’t have much nutrition, so blood drinking is not, let’s say, a balanced meal. No wonder all those vampires in the movies are always so pale and moody. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Posted June 28, 2012 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in ECOVIA Central

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