BEACON TRANSCRIPT-If you are afraid of vampires you shouldn’t read this article. Scientists have found evidence that the vampire bats may be drinking human blood. Although this might sound like one of the horror movies with Dracula, it might actually be true.
The vampire bats usually feed on blood. They take it from birds, or at least that was what it was believed until now. Scientists have found proof that these bats can drink human blood too. The hairy-legged bats are usually found in forests in Brazil.
Scientists believe that the preferences of these bats might have changed because birds are hard to find. This shows that any animal has some special techniques when it comes to survival. These vampire bats were able to change their diet in order to stay alive.
Vampire bats bite the skin of the prey and then suck the blood and combine it with saliva in order to stop the coagulation process. This way they can enjoy their meal a little longer. Other studies showed that the bats need to suck blood constantly in order to stay alive because they tend not to store the fats from the blood.
In order to see what these bats have been eating when birds were not available and they were starving, the researchers analyzed 70 fecal samples. They analyzed the DNA, in order to see what the bats had for dinner recently.
The findings were surprising because scientists found not only traces of bird blood but also human blood. Birds have more fats and water in the composition of their blood compared to people who have more proteins. Despite this, the vampire bats have adapted and can now eat our blood in order to survive.
These bats can also drink the blood of other animals that are “available”. Although they have managed to adapt, vampire bats can’t live by just eating our blood or mammal blood in general. They still need to drink bird’s blood in order to have the necessary fats in their system.
The author of the study mentioned that although it is interesting to see how animals adapt, the fact that these bats bite humans it concerning. They mentioned that this habit can increase the risk of rabies transmission.
What is your opinion about this discovery?
Image source: Wikipedia