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Vampire Bats

Vampire bats are the most commonly recognized subspecies of bats because of their remarkable liquid diet, consisting of only blood, called Hematophagy. Known in pop culture as a symbol of terror, these bats exhibit very social and friendly behaviors that should cast that belief aside. As you begin to watch the vampire bat cam, you may start to learn about their individual personalities.

Although small in size, roughly 3.5 inches, their wingspan can be up to double the length of their body, and they can fly at speeds up to 10mph. A vampire bat can be distinguished from other bats with its stunted muzzle and ability to use all four of its legs on land with full mobility.

When a baby vampire bat is brought into the world it clings to its mother for the first three months of its life, even while the mother flies. During this time, it drinks its mother’s milk until it is strong enough to fly and hunt on its own. Mothers often use this time for social grooming of their young and to prep it for its future life in a colony. A vampire bat’s life expectancy is roughly 9 years.

Where do vampire bats live?

Vampire bats live in humid warm weather climates of Mexico, South America, and Central America. They normally reside in caves or dark, damp spaces that allow them to sleep peacefully during the day so they can actively hunt at night. The bats featured on the Vampire Bat Cam are located at the Organization for Bat Conservation in Michigan.

Feeding Habits

Vampire bats usually feed at night on mammals such as horses, cows, birds, pigs, and on occasion, humans. Once prey has been spotted, the vampire bat will approach it from the ground, on all fours, where it will use sensors it has on its nose to search for warm, flowing blood. Once located, the vampire bat will use its sharp front teeth to bite just hard enough into the prey to allow blood to ooze out. Once there is blood, the vampire bat will use its tongue to lick it up. Its saliva contains a glycoprotein that stops the prey’s blood from clotting once ingested. Although these bats do not remove enough blood to cause any fatalities, most prey are riddled with diseases and infections following a vampire bat bite.

Vampire bats normally consume 1 oz of blood per feeding which can sustain them for two days before they need to return to the hunting ground. Although they hunt alone, vampire bats are very social creatures that live within colonies that can include 100-1,000 other bats. If a bat has been unsuccessful in finding proper sustenance, a fellow successful bat will regurgitate any excess blood to share.

We hope you enjoy Explore's new Vampire Bat Cam!

  • topic: bats

  • location: bloomfield

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vampire bat cam - org. for bat conservation

Vampire Bat Cam Logo

Bats evoke imagery of fear and are often misrepresented by media. These bat cams provide an intimate look at their lives while bat experts shed light on bats’ numerous contributions to safeguarding the world’s fragile ecosystem. For instance, bats are the sole pollinators for hundreds of species of flowers. Without them we wouldn’t have many of the foods we eat and drink - including tequila.

This cam is focused on a colony of dozens of Vampire Bats. While these little creatures have always been the center of many scary stories, worry not! Vampire Bats rarely feed on humans: they prefer cows, goats and chickens. Watch live as they eat, sleep, and just hang out. Learn about these nocturnal creatures from lead scientists and how you can help #SaveTheBats.

These live cams are hosted by non profit Organization for Bat Conservation, founded in 1992 in Michigan, who has dedicated the last twenty five years in promoting bat education and rehabilitation. They’ve rescued or rehabilitated hundreds of Vampire and Fruit Bats, now living under their care in the ”Bat Zone” on the campus of the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

about

location: Bloomfield Hills, MI

best hours: 24/7 (feedings: 6:15am & 12:15-1:15pm)

time zone: Eastern Daylight Time

links: Organization for Bat Conservation
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About Bats
Save the Bats (@BatConservation)

Vampire Bats

Vampire bats are the most commonly recognized subspecies of bats because of their remarkable liquid diet, consisting of only blood, called Hematophagy. Known in pop culture as a symbol of terror, these bats exhibit very social and friendly behaviors that should cast that belief aside. As you begin to watch the vampire bat cam, you may start to learn about their individual personalities.

Although small in size, roughly 3.5 inches, their wingspan can be up to double the length of their body, and they can fly at speeds up to 10mph. A vampire bat can be distinguished from other bats with its stunted muzzle and ability to use all four of its legs on land with full mobility.

When a baby vampire bat is brought into the world it clings to its mother for the first three months of its life, even while the mother flies. During this time, it drinks its mother’s milk until it is strong enough to fly and hunt on its own. Mothers often use this time for social grooming of their young and to prep it for its future life in a colony. A vampire bat’s life expectancy is roughly 9 years.

Where do vampire bats live?

Vampire bats live in humid warm weather climates of Mexico, South America, and Central America. They normally reside in caves or dark, damp spaces that allow them to sleep peacefully during the day so they can actively hunt at night. The bats featured on the Vampire Bat Cam are located at the Organization for Bat Conservation in Michigan.

Feeding Habits

Vampire bats usually feed at night on mammals such as horses, cows, birds, pigs, and on occasion, humans. Once prey has been spotted, the vampire bat will approach it from the ground, on all fours, where it will use sensors it has on its nose to search for warm, flowing blood. Once located, the vampire bat will use its sharp front teeth to bite just hard enough into the prey to allow blood to ooze out. Once there is blood, the vampire bat will use its tongue to lick it up. Its saliva contains a glycoprotein that stops the prey’s blood from clotting once ingested. Although these bats do not remove enough blood to cause any fatalities, most prey are riddled with diseases and infections following a vampire bat bite.

Vampire bats normally consume 1 oz of blood per feeding which can sustain them for two days before they need to return to the hunting ground. Although they hunt alone, vampire bats are very social creatures that live within colonies that can include 100-1,000 other bats. If a bat has been unsuccessful in finding proper sustenance, a fellow successful bat will regurgitate any excess blood to share.

We hope you enjoy Explore's new Vampire Bat Cam!

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