(ORDO NEWS) — Vampire bats are a little scary with their ability to drink the blood of animals. But do they eat something else, or can they only survive on such a bloody diet?
The amazing ability of this species of bat has its limits. Scientists have found out how long a vampire can live on blood only
To answer this tricky question, scientists compared the genome of common vampire bats ( Desmodus rotundus ) with 26 other bat species and identified 13 genes in vampire bats that are missing or have stopped working.
Over the years, these gene changes have helped animals adapt to a “blood” diet rich in iron and protein, but with minimal amounts of fat or carbohydrates.
Most mammals cannot survive on a low-calorie liquid blood diet. Only three vampire species out of 1,400 bat species can do this – the rest feed mainly on insects, fruits, nectar, pollen, or the meat of small frogs and fish.
How vampires survive on a “blood” diet
The ability of vampire bats to survive on blood alone has amazed scientists. These animals turned out to be the most amazing of all bats.
This ability is due to changes in the genome that allow vampires to feed on blood without the need for other higher-calorie foods.
With such a low-calorie diet, vampire bats cannot go without food for long. In a pinch, well-fed animals will regurgitate their food to share with a starving neighbor.
But a bat cannot share with every relative: these animals have complex social relationships and seem to remember which individual helped them in the past, and then pay her the same.
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