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Vampire bats suck human blood. Animal fact or fiction?

Click the button next to your choice. Then, click the "GO" button to see how you did.

Fact
Fiction

You're right! Good job! While it is a rare occurences, vampire bats have bitten and fed on human blood. However, they do not bite on the neck. Instead, they'll typically bite a toe or ankle. And, they do not suck the blood. The following describes how they actually feed:

  • Using their specially-adapted sharp teeth, the bats make tiny (7 mm long and 8 mm deep) cuts in the skin of a sleeping animal. If there is fur on the skin, the bat uses its canine and cheek teeth like a barber's shears to clip away the hairs.
  • The vampire bat's saliva contains a chemical that keeps the blood from clotting, a second chemical that keeps red blood cells from sticking together, a third that inhibits constriction of veins near the wound and fourth that numbs the animal's skin, so it won't wake up while the bat is feeding. Grooves on the underside of the tongue draw blood toward the bat's mouth. The bat will then lap up the blood that oozes from the wound.

Each night, a vampire bat will drink about 60% of its body weight (about 2 tablespoons) in blood. Since it only needs the red blood cells, it will begin excreting plasma through its urine after feeding for about 2 minutes. It typically takes them about 20 minutes to feed.

[ More Animal Fact or Fiction ]

Nope, sorry! While it is a rare occurences, vampire bats have bitten and fed on human blood. However, they do not bite on the neck. Instead, they'll typically bite a toe or ankle. And, they do not suck the blood. The following describes how they actually feed:

  • Using their specially-adapted sharp teeth, the bats make tiny (7 mm long and 8 mm deep) cuts in the skin of a sleeping animal. If there is fur on the skin, the common vampire bat uses its canine and cheek teeth like a barber's shears to clip away the hairs.
  • The vampire bat's saliva contains a chemical that keeps the blood from clotting, a second chemical that keeps red blood cells from sticking together, a third that inhibits constriction of veins near the wound and fourth that numbs the animal's skin, so it won't wake up while the bat is feeding. Grooves on the underside of the tongue draw blood toward the bat's mouth. The bat will then lap up the blood that oozes from the wound.

Each night, a vampire bat will drink about 60% of its body weight (about 2 tablespoons) in blood. Since it only needs the red blood cells, it will begin excreting plasma through its urine after feeding for about 2 minutes. It typically takes them about 20 minutes to feed.

[ More Animal Fact or Fiction ]