There are actually three kinds of vampire bats, and they are called the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat, and the white-winged vampire bat. All of these bats live in tropical areas of the New World, including Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. The Common Vampire Bat is the most common of these three types, which is probably how it got its name, and it's the one I'm going to tell you about.
|Photo by The Daily Texan|
Common vampire bats like to feed on mammals such as horses, burros, cattle, goats, and pigs. These animals are all much bigger than a bat, so the bats have to be very sneaky and careful. They generally land on the ground and then walk around their victim. Vampire bats are the only kind of bat that can walk, using their hind legs and modified thumbs. The other types of bats have evolved to the point where they can only fly.
|Picture taken at Sangayan Island,|
Paracas National Reserve,
Departamento Ica, Peru, March 2005
I'm not sure if I would like have a pet vampire bat living with us or not. I think it would be tasty to eat one, but I also think it would be hard to get past all those sharp teeth. Mom says she would not want something flying around in the house at night and biting us while we're sleeping. I wouldn't really want that either, so I guess this is one time that Mom and I agree on something!