Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Brazilian Vampire Bats Feeding on Humans

For the most part, vampire bats get a bad rap. Even though the creatures helped to inspire Bram Stoker's famous novel Dracula, in real life vampire bats are not know to seek out humans as prey. That is, until now. Thanks to DNA analysis, Brazilian scientists have recently identified a species of vampire bat that appears to have developed a taste for human blood.

However, recent reports have confirmed what humans dread the most—that some of these wild creatures have been proven to include people’s blood in their diet. According to the New York Post, some species of the winged-mammals, which are commonly found soaring across America, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, have indeed been secretly sucking human blood.

Scientists at Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil claim that a colony of hairy-legged vampire bats are the culprits, after tracing human DNA from 70 feces samples of these bats. Enrico Bernard, the lead researcher from the university, said he and his team “were quite surprised” by their recent findings. “This species isn’t adapted to feed on the blood of mammals,” he revealed.

The chilling revelation contradicts previous experiments on the air-gliding critters, which reflected that they would rather starve than eat any other mammal blood. Bernard said that its no longer the case with these bats, who seemed to discover that human blood is thicker and higher in protein than the fatty bird plasma.

There's no word as of yet on any connection between this strain of bat and actual vampires, or any increase in the numbers of the Brazilian undead. But scientists do fear that this new strain of vampire bat could contribute to the spread of diseases. The bats fly and are also far tinier than what vampire hunters are used to, so driving little bat-sized stakes through their hearts is quite impractical.

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