Common Name: Vampire Bats
Scientific Name: Desmodus rotundus
Species: D. rotundus
Bats are very interesting creatures. First of all, bats are the only known flying mammal. On their arms they have wings that make able to fly. Most bats have about the wingspan of a small bird. Most bats are black or brown. They are nocturnal and communicate with high-frequency sounds. If you think bats want to suck your blood you are wrong. The Vampire Bat can do things that other bats can't do. They look different than other bats. Vampire Bats can walk like a monkey and hop like a frog. They also have a pointy triangular nose. The Vampire Bat walks on tiptoes when they are getting close to their prey.
Vampire Bats have a few unique adaptations. It places itself close in a cave near their prey so that they have more feeding time. They use rivers and streams as navigational systems. They also have a special heat sensor in their nose that tells them where the closest vein is to the skin. Just like humans, bats give live birth. They are poorly developed and nurse on their mom for a while. A baby bat at birth can weigh up to 30% of its mother's weight. So when the babies are ready to eat blood, they fly and go with their mom. The Vampire Bat diet is not human blood. They feed on cows, horses, and sheep. They hunt at night sneaking up on their prey. The prey does not feel the Vampire Bat feeding on them because the bat's saliva numbs the skin of the prey. They lap the blood of their prey until they are full.
The only predator of the Vampire Bat is human beings. Other than that they do not have any predators. Farmers usually kill the bats because they just don't like the bats near their cattle. Usually, the Vampire Bats are the predators. The Vampire Bat lives in dark caves in colonies up to 1000 in one place. Sometimes the bat will live alone. The Vampire Bats are found only in a few places. They are found in Central and South America. They are also found in Mexico. If you do not live in these places don't worry about Vampire Bats. The Vampire Bat could, and probably will soon, be very economically important. Scientists have discovered that the Vampire Bats' saliva is better at keeping blood from clotting than any known medicine. Also, the Vampire Bat could help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The bats bring in more than 80 types of medicine and 450 commercial products in the United States. Some bats are very ecologically important to the rainforest. Without some bats, the rainforest would not get pollinated.
Author: Sam W.
Date Published: April 2006