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No Happy Feet here—for the first time, vampire bats have been filmed drinking blood from penguins.
Documentary filmmakers with BBC Nature recently captured common vampire bats feeding on a colony of Humboldt penguins—including babies—on the coast of southern Peru, near the Atacama Desert.
But the BBC footage doesn’t curdle the blood of vampire bat expert Gerald Wilkinson, a biologist at the University of Maryland, College Park. Common vampire bats—which are widespread throughout tropical Latin America—generally snack on anything bigger than a medium-size rodent, usually feeding on livestock, Wilkinson said.
But what is surprising about the BBC video, noted James Eggers, director of education for the nonprofit organization Bat Conservation International, is that common vampire bats prefer mammals, not birds such as penguins.
There are two other species of vampire bat in Latin America that feed only on birds, but they live in wetter climates, Eggers said.
Once a vampire bat finds an animal, it hops about—sometimes comically, Eggers said—sensing places where warm blood is coursing closest to the skin’s surface, which are usually extremities such as the feet, fingers, and ears. The bat then uses its supersharp teeth to make a tiny incision, lapping up the flowing blood until it’s ingested its weight in blood.
People have a tricky relationship with vampire bats, which can carry rabies and have bitten people while they sleep. Due to concern over rabies, some governments in the Caribbean and Central America have encouraged people to kill vampire bats, but often people don’t know what the three species look like and end up killing any type of bat, Wilkinson noted.
For instance, research shows that the anticoagulant in vampire bat bat saliva may be an effective way to break up blood clots that lead to strokes in people. I wish that I am part of your team.Discovering ,Exploring things , and sharing it to the humanity .
I think it’s great that science is making progress based on natural processes occurring in our environment.


A type of article that would make Batman proud, but for his arch nemsis the Penguin his blood is boiling. I wasn’t aware that rabies kills animals within seconds like the video implies with the cow falling over dead and the rest of the herd stampeding in fear. Vampire bats are altruistic and will feed roost mates who need help, groom each other, and adopt unrelated young.
National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices.
Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities. Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work. Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi. With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa.
In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave. It’s likely that a nearby sea lion colony attracted the bats to the area, Wilkinson added.
Suddenly too heavy to fly, the bat then urinates most of the blood, hanging on to the nutrient-rich blood cells.
However such cases are rare, and in many incidences, the bite is a result of the bats’ other prey being removed, Eggers said.
What I meant is that after the vampire bat is done feeding, the wound is not still bleeding heavily, making the animal suffer—the expert said it’s a small incision and you can barely see it.


Now scientist may add Vampire Bats to list of penguins natural predators along side with Orcas and Leporad Seals. What you also forgot to mention though was that vampire bats also save human lives everyday.
If you are going to give information out make sure it is accurate… animals like bats have a hard enough time without misinformation and creating fear about them. The experts I interviewed also caught the error that birds can’t get rabies, so I included that in my post. Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016.
Generally anticoagulants act to inhibit blood clotting and prevent vessel constriction to promote blood flow from the wound. They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. Also, I must agree with the earlier comments, these bats are just as much victims of rabies as are the cows, and are only trying to survive like everybody else. And next the cow falls dead for us to see all the others literally fleeing in terror from…the bat? I’ve seen other presentations that had my own closed-minded coworkers sounding fascinated, but specials like these could more have those same people changing their minds from fear.



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