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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Red alert!!! Vampire Bats Found Feeding on Human Blood.

Vampire Bats Found Feeding on Human Blood,and its not a movie clip.DNA samples from the dung of hairy-legged vampire bats, which survive by drinking bird blood, were recently discovered to have traces of human blood. The urban legend of the vampire that haunts our nightmares might not be just a legend after all. Vampire bats have evolved to subsist entirely on blood, and now for the first known time one type of vampire bat has started feeding on humans. The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) has always been known to survive on the blood of various birds. A new study published in the journal Acta Chiropterologica found that this species of vampire bat is now feeding on human blood as well. Two other species of vampire bat—the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi)—are known to jump from one source of blood to another, but never human blood. All three species of vampire bats can be found across the Americas, ranging from Mexico to Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. They feed by puncturing the skin of their prey with sharp incisors and drinking the blood that flows from the wound. Deforestation has been wreaking havoc on the Caatinga dry forests of northeastern Brazil, displacing the vampire bat population. Brazilians have also been hunting the tinamou and guan birds, which are the prey of vampire bats. With food sources running dry, investigators from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil decided to find out what these vampire bats were surviving on instead. Predictably, DNA analysis of fecal samples from 15 bats showed that most of the samples contained chicken blood. But 3 the 15 samples contained traces of human blood. Enrico Bernard, the lead researcher on the study, was surprised at this discovery, saying, “This species isn’t adapted to feed on the blood of mammals.” Vampire bats are adapted to process fat, which is a primary component of bird blood, compared with the thicker, high-protein blood of mammals. This new-found evidence is a cause of concern to investigators, worried about the spread of viruses from the bats to their human prey. A similar phenomenon occurred in northeast Brazil in 2015,when deforestation led another type of vampire bat to bite and infect more than 1,000 people with rabies, causing at least 23 deaths. Investigators are worried about what this discovery might mean for Brazilians and their well-being because the hairy-legged vampire bat has been known to carry the deadly hantavirus. The hantavirus can cause a respiratory disease in humans that can be fatal. The investigators believe these vampire bats are entering people’s bedrooms through holes in roofs or windows while they’re sleeping. To learn more, the research team is following up by visiting homes of local residents to find out how often they are being bitten, when they are being bitten, and how they are being bitten. source