Are vampire bats the evil bloodsuckers of Dracula lore? | Natural History Museum

Are vampire bats the evil bloodsuckers of Dracula lore? | Natural History Museum

December 11, 2019 1 By William Hollis


Well firstly they don’t actually suck blood.
What they do is they use heat sensors around their nose to detect areas where blood is
near to the surface of the skin. And then they have these specially adapted, very sharp teeth which cut as they bite, and then they actually have an anticoagulant, and that helps it to continue bleeding freely. And then they lap it up rather than suck it up. There is a somewhat softer side to vampire
bats. Within a roost if certain individuals haven’t been able to feed, others will sometimes
share their blood meal with them. We think this is because they hope at some point in
the future the gesture will be reciprocated. But it only works if everybody shares.