Human hazards hamper vampire bat venom research

Vampire bats could hold the key to new treatments for a range of serious medical problems, but researchers have hit a snag accessing the specimens needed to advance their work.

Five vampire traits that exist in the natural world

When asked to describe a vampire, most people think of a tall, pale creature, with fangs and a cloak. But were the creatures of folklore inspired by real traits seen in the animal kingdom? From avoiding sunlight to using ...

New DNA screening reveals blood sources for vampire bats

The vampire bat's diet consists of blood. It prefers to feed on domestic animals such as cows and pigs, but when it does so, there is a risk of transmitting pathogens such as rabies. Now, a new study lead by Assistant Professor ...

How vampire bats survive on a diet of blood

It may seem batty, but blood is the diet of choice for several species of bats. Now, scientists discover that jumping genes provide the evolutionary key to this vampiric life.

Vampire bat's blood-only diet 'a big evolutionary win'

At first glance, the cost-benefit ratio of a blood-only diet suggests that vampire bats—the only mammals to feed exclusively on the viscous, ruby-red elixir—flew down an evolutionary blind alley.

Friends help female vampire bats cope with loss

Female vampire bats form strong social bonds with their mothers and daughters as they groom and share regurgitated meals of blood. They also form friendships with less closely related bats. Gerry Carter, post-doctoral fellow ...

Herpes not quite so species specific after all

A new study challenges the tenet of herpes viruses being strictly host-specific. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Germany have discovered that gammaherpesviruses switch their hosts ...

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