4 Bloody Amazing Vampire Bat Facts

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A typical female vampire bat can drink half her body weight in blood during a 20-minute feeding.


(Warning: If you’re eating, you might want to read this later)

Bats are the only mammals that can fly under their own power. But vampire bats take it a step further. They’re the only mammals that feed entirely on blood. Yes, during the darkest hours of the night these tiny creatures emerge to dine on their victims—often without them even knowing it. Here’s a few more fascinating factoids to know in case the tasty subject of vampire bats happens to come up in conversation:

  1. They don’t really suck. Legend have led many us to believe that they suck blood from their prey. Instead, they use their sharp teeth to make a tiny puncture wound near an artery. Then they use their tongue to lap up the blood that oozes out of the wound (remember we warned you about eating while reading this).
  2. They fill-up quick. Your typical female vampire bat can drink half her weight in blood in just 20 minutes. She’s only weighs about an ounce but still, that pretty impressive.
  3. They give other bats a bad name. Only three of the more than 1,300 bat species in the world are vampire bats. Most of them live in Central and South America. They love hot weather so if you live in Minnesota, it’s a safe bet you’ll never meet one.
  4. You’re not their first choice for a meal. These little guys prefer large, sleeping prey such as cattle because their skin is so thick that the bite won’t even wake ‘em up. And even if one ever does sink his teeth into you, you’ll probably survive since they only consume about a tablespoon of blood (but you should definitely get a rabies shot).

Finally, while we’re on the subject of bats, let’s clear up the most famous myth of all. Despite the phrase, “blind as a bat”, they’re not blind. In fact they’re not even a little bit near-sighted. Bats have the unique ability to emit sophisticated ultrasonic sounds that reflect off nearby objects allowing them to effectively avoid all obstacles. It’s so good that they often don’t bother to use their eyesite to get around. Perhaps this is why the myth was born.

And that’s the bloody truth.


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