Bat Appreciation Day April 17

Desmodus rotundus, picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve, Departamento Ica, Peru
Desmodus rotundus, picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve, Departamento Ica, Peru
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Happy Bat Appreciation Day (April 17)! April is the best time to observe bats, as they are just coming out of hibernation (or torpour).

Vampire Bats: Bloodsuckers of the Night

Vampire bats, members of the subfamily Desmodontinae, are a fascinating group of bats found in Central and South America. These unique creatures have a dietary trait called hematophagy, meaning they feed solely on the blood of other animals.There are three extant (living) species of vampire bats:

1. Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus)

Feeds primarily on the blood of mammals, including humans (occasionally)

2. Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat (Diphylla ecaudata)

Feeds primarily on the blood of birds

3. White-Winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus youngi)

Also feeds primarily on the blood of birds

Interestingly, two extinct species of the genus Desmodus have been found in North America, giving us a glimpse into the past range of these unique bloodsuckers.

So next time you see a vampire bat, remember – they may look scary, but they’re just trying to get their next meal! 🦇

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