I am so excited for our featured animal this week. They are a very cool animal that many find to be creepy. They are able to fly and they are native to Central and South America. Haven't guessed it yet? Let me give you 6 more clues to see if you can figure out what animal I am talking about.
Clue 1: They can see with thermoreceptors located in their nose.
Clue 2: They only feed at night.
Clue 3: They are very popular at Halloween.
Clue 4: They practice hematophagy.
Clue 5: The live in places that are completely black.
Clue 6: Leaves for two hours each night to feed.
If you haven't guessed it yet defenders, it is the Vampire Bat! I know what you are thinking... that Vampire Bats are soo creepy, but if you actually think about it, they are pretty cool. Vampire Bats live in colonies that are found in areas that are the blackest of blacks. Caves, tree hollows and old attics are the types of places that Vampire Bats live, but if it isn't really dark them then the bats will choose somewhere else.
Vampire Bats are blood sucking mammals that feed on the blood of other living animals. They mostly feed on larger mammals, birds and the occasional HUMAN. Yes! There are records that show humans have been fed on by Vampire Bats before, yet this is not common. The blood suckers are able to use infrared vision to track down prey and identify hot spots on the animals body, which gives them in the info they need to find a blood source. Vampire Bats will head out when the night time is darkest and look for their hosts to feed, spending about 2 hours feeding and scientists say that finding blood for dinner may not be a regular thing, as the animals with the blood do not always cooperate.
Vampire bats are such good buddies that when they don't find an animal with blood to feed on they head back to the communal area and ask another bat to borrow food. Sounds weird right? Well, it is. When the Vampire Bat that had a good blood feed for the night agrees to let another borrow some blood, it will literally vomit blood into the other bats mouth. This way, the bat borrowing the blood lives to feed another day. This is a very important behavior because Vampire Bats cannot go very long with out food and they don't always find dinner. So, borrowing comes in handy. This is called reciprocal altruism and it is a very interesting behavior that is only seen in animals like primates, vampire bats, a few birds and cleaner fish.
Learn more about the bats and other mammals by heading to the Kids Zone and exploring the Animal Kingdom Center. There is hundreds of animal articles to read, unique coloring pages and activities made by us. We have so much there to spark learning and make you children or students think highly about all animals.