Habitat: South and Central America
Desmodus rotundus. The only flying mammal in the world, the bat has three species of true Vampires which weigh only an ounce with a wingspan up to 8 inches. Extremely agile on the ground as well as in the air, they land near their prey moving quickly and silently. With the skill of a surgeon, Vampire bats use their razor sharp incisors to first cut away fur and then slit the skin approximately 5 mm long all unbeknownst to the prey.
Two tablespoons of blood daily from animals such as pigs, horses and cattle, the Vampire bat does not suck blood like Bram Stokers famed Dracula. Instead the tongue laps blood from an incision. Blood and Myths certainly make this little bloodsucker intriguing but what would a scientist like Terry Fredeking want to learn from them?
Why Vampire Bats?
Spit! Terry and his team of scientists are interested in the Vampire bats saliva! There are three ingredients of mystery, one encourages the blood to flow freely, one is an anticoagulant (keeping the red blood cells from clotting), and another inhibits the veins from constricting during the feeding process. How can that help humans? Ask Terry!