There has never been a vampire bat that has eaten humans before in the history of the species. This was discovered by scientists from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, who analysed the faeces of the vampire bats and found human blood in them.
Vampire bats have previously been known to only eat bird blood, but a new study out of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, claims that a new species of bat has begun feeding on human blood for the first time.
Vampire bat faeces was examined by Enrico Bernard and his team, and they found human blood in a few samples.
They collected DNA from 15 bats after analysing the faeces of 70 of them. Human blood was discovered in three of the 70 samples tested.
Enrico Bernard, the study’s lead author, told Sandrine Ceurstemont of New Scientist, “We were rather startled.” To feed on animal blood, “this species isn’t adapted.” It was told to him that bats are “suited to metabolise fat, the primary component of avian blood, as opposed to the thicker, high-protein blood of mammals.”
They are a surprise to biologists because of this. Even more shocking is the fact that these bats have been shown to fast rather than eat goat or pig blood when avian blood is in short supply.
In their search for prey, bats may be forced to become “more adventurous” as a result of human encroachment on their area.
Using the gaps in the roofs, windows, or walls, Bernard speculated that bats may be able to get into homes and attack people who sleep outside in hammocks.
However, it needs to be seen if vampire bats are on the rise or if these findings represent a long-term shift in bat behaviour. It is possible that these findings are a result of a random event, such as the bats being approached or attacked by people.