Did you know that vampire bats are the only mammals that feed entirely on blood? Discover more interesting and fun facts about vampire bats by scrolling through this article.

Vampire Bats Facts

They are creatures of the night. They are blood suckers. And most of all, they are mammals. Surprised! Does there exist any living being that sucks blood and yet is a mammal? They are called vampire bats. They are often into the bad books of human beings and hence, are associated with consumption of blood of large, warm blooded animals. Do not fear, for these mammals rarely bite humans and find their prey mostly in horses, deer, and cattle. Portrayed as the only blood-sucking mammals, vampire bats are found in just three species — Common, Hairy Legged, and White-Winged. All three species are known to be native to South America, stretching from Mexico to Brazil and Chile to Argentina. They are easily identifiable from other bats through their teeth. The extremely long canine teeth with two sharp, triangular, pointed front teeth help these vampire bats to dig deep into the host’s skin and lick the flowing blood thereafter. Check out some interesting and fun facts about vampire bats as you glance through the lines below.
Interesting Facts About Vampire Bats
  • Vampire bats have a short, conical muzzle and specialized infrared sensors on their nose that help them in locating the area where blood flows very close to the skin.
  • Due to their blood-sucking diet, their digestive systems are designed accordingly.
  • Amongst the three species of vampire bats, only the Common vampire bat feeds on mammal blood, while none of them are deemed to turn their prey into vampires, a common misconception assumed by most people.
  • These horrendous creatures are generally found in colonies of around 100 bats, but in rare cases, can live in groups of more than 2,000 as well.
  • Did you know that a 100-bat colony is capable of sucking the blood of 25 cows in a year?
  • Vampire bats can survive only in arid and humid areas of tropics and subtropics. Hence, they live in Mexico and South America. They require heat to stay alive and for this reason, are not found in cold regions.
  • Unlike other bat species, a vampire bat can run, walk, and jump. The strong hind legs and a special thumb help it to escape immediately after it is done with its job. It is capable of running at a speed of 2.2 meters per second.
  • It weighs only 40 g but can consume 20 g of blood in a 20-minute feed.
  • Vampire bats are so light that they can easily rest on the host and enjoy a 30-minute blood sucking experience without waking up the host. As such, the host may not even realize it since the blood sucking does not hurt it.
  • While they hang themselves upside down from the roofs in dark and secluded areas, such as caves, old wells, and mine shafts, and sleep during the day, they emerge out in the darkness of night to hunt their prey.
  • At one time, vampire bats bite their prey and drink blood for 30 minutes. However, they do not suck enough blood to harm their host, though their bites can cause dreadful infections and diseases.
  • The worst ailment that a bite from vampire bat can cause is a terrifying disease called Rabies, which infects several animals but can be transferred to human beings through animal bites.
  • If you live in the countryside and one morning, you realise, one of your cattle is feeling uneasy and that there is continuous flow of blood from one part of its body, do not be surprised. That’s because the saliva of vampire bats contains a substance called draculin, which prevents the host’s blood from clotting. As such, any mammal bitten by a vampire bat would find difficulties in stopping the flow of blood.
  • If a vampire bat is unable to find blood for two consecutive nights, it dies eventually.
  • Female vampire bats help new mothers in nursing them and the baby. When a new bat is born, other female bats help in feeding the mother for about two weeks after the birth.
  • Young vampire bats feed on milk and not on blood. They cling to their mothers and consume milk for around three months, whether in flight or on ground.
  • A vampire bat can live up to 9 years in the wild; while in captivity, it has a lifespan of about 20 years.

The next time if you happen to visit those dark and scary caves, be wary of these razor-like pointed front-teethed vampire bats that may just attack you from nowhere. Watch out for them!

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