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Vampire bats don't suck your blood

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V ampire bats, Desmondus rotundus, live in Central and South America. These little bats weigh about an ounce and their bodies are smaller than a pack of gum. Their wingspan is 8 inches.

Vampire bats fly low to the ground at night using a unique combination of smell, sound, echolocation, and possibly heat to find their prey. Using their modified canine teeth to clip the fur of their victim and long, sharp incisors to make a painless cut they prepare to feast on blood. As blood oozes out of the cut, the little bat laps it up, much like a cat at a dish of water.

Vampire bats are altruistic. Bats that are successful in finding prey and feasting return to the colony and will regurgitate blood to feed other bats that are hungry. Vampire bats will starve to death if they do not eat for two to three days.

The greatest danger from vampire bats is the spread of disease from blood-borne pathogens such as rabies.