Thursday, May 26, 2016

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Vampire Bats Facts

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vampire Bats Facts

The vampires Melissa Marchellis encounters in Bryony have much in common with vampire bats. Both flee when the victim awakens, and both contain saliva with particular properties: a numbing agent and an anticoagulant to allow the blood to freely flow. The similarities, however, end there.

Unlike the vampires in Bryony, vampire bats never attack and, when they do regurgitate a meal, it’s to share their food with a vampire bat that didn’t get one that night. Vampire bats, said Sharon Peterson, elementary school teacher, librarian, and bat expert trained by Bats Conservation International, roost in very tight colonies and display caring behavior toward each other. Adult bats, for instance, will groom other bats.

Other vampire facts Peterson shared include:

· There are three species of vampire bats: common vampire bat, hairy-legged vampire bat, and the white-winged vampire bat. All three live in Latin America ranging from Mexico to the southern areas of South America. They do not live in Europe.
· Two species of vampire bats drink mainly from the blood of birds. The other drinks the blood of mammals.
· Vampire bats can run short distances before leaping into flight.
· Vampire bats ignore the fatty areas of their victims. Instead, they settle on areas where blood vessels are close to the surface. That would be the feet in birds, on the hooves or near the tails for cows, and the fingertips for humans.
· Scientists are experimenting on ways to use the anticoagulating properties in vampire bat’s saliva as an alternative to traditional blood thinners. Unlike these medicines, the anticoagulant in bat saliva targets only clots.
· Vampire bats are very shy. They will not come near a victim that is awake.
· Vampire bats are not carnivorous. Other bats might scoop up a lizard or mouse and fly away with it, but not vampire bats.

For over ten years Sharon Peterson, along with her husband Dan Peterson and their two Egyptian fruit bats, has been giving presentations on bats. Sharon and Dan are both licensed through the USDA as Class C exhibitors. To schedule a presentation or for more information on bats in general visit

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