vampire bat


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Related to vampire bat: Common Vampire Bat

vampire bat,

name for the blood-drinking batsbat,
winged mammal of the order Chiroptera, which includes 900–1,000 species classified in about 200 genera and 17 families. Bats range in size from a wingspread of over 5 ft (150 cm) to a wingspread of less than 2 in. (5 cm).
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 of the family Desmodontidae, found in the New World tropics. Vampire bats feed exclusively on the blood of living animals and are thus the only true parasites among mammals. There are three species ranging from Argentina to N Mexico. They are small (about 3 in./7.5 cm long), round-bodied bats with large, pointed ears and naked snouts. Unlike most bats, vampire bats can walk on all fours with the body lifted off the ground; it is in this manner that they approach their sleeping prey. The bat uses its razor-sharp incisors to make a neat incision, usually without waking the victim, then laps the blood with its tongue. Its saliva contains an anticoagulant that causes the wound to seep for several hours. Vampire bats parasitize a variety of animals, chiefly mammals. Although the quantity of blood they take is insufficent to harm a large animal, they are dangerous to livestock and humans because they transmit serious diseases such as rabies and Chagas's disease. Vampire bats live in caves, tree hollows, and houses. They are mutual groomers, and an effective method of reducing their numbers is to coat a captured bat with a sticky poison and release it; when the bat returns to its roost the poison will be licked by other bats. Members of another bat family, the Megadermatidae, of the Old World tropics, are known as false vampire bats. They are exclusively carnivorous but do not feed on blood. The generic name Vampyrus belongs to a large, fruit-eating bat of Central and South America that was once mistakenly believed to suck blood. True vampire bats are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Chiroptera, family Desmodontidae.

vampire bat

any bat, esp Desmodus rotundus, of the family Desmodontidae of tropical regions of Central and South America, having sharp incisor and canine teeth and feeding on the blood of birds and mammals
References in periodicals archive ?
This bat and the world's two other vampire bat species, the hairy-legged vampire bat and the white-winged vampire bat, are the only mammals that eat just blood.
At first glance, the cost-benefit ratio of a blood-only diet suggests that vampire bats -- the only mammals to feed exclusively on the viscous, ruby-red elixir -- flew down an evolutionary blind alley.
Vampire bats are responsible for the majority of rabies cases in humans and in livestock, largely because of their blood-feeding behavior.
Locomotor morphology of the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus.
Vampire bat venom was found to have unique forms of anticoagulants, that help prevent blood to clot and molecules which trigger the dilation of the patient's arteries.
During 2002-2007, a total of 293 (77%) of the rabies cases diagnosed by the Instituto Nacional de Salud in Peru were associated with vampire bat RABV variants; the remaining 87 (23%) were attributed to RABV variants associated with dogs.
Discovered in the venom of the common vampire bat from Central and South America, Professor Fry said the compounds had significant potential for future drug design and development.
How much more does the vampire bat weigh than the smallest bat?
Published in the August issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the study is based on surveys conducted in two communities in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon, where human rabies cases caused by vampire bat bites have been a regular occurrence in the last 20 years.