Do vampire bats really exist?

Yes, but not in most of the United States. Of the three species of vampire bats in North America, only a single specimen has been recorded for the United States in extreme southwest Texas. Vampire bats do not suck blood--they make a small incision with their sharp front teeth and lap up the blood with their tongue. Vampire bats in Mexico and South America feed on the blood of livestock such as cattle and horses, as well as deer, wild pigs and even seals.

Learn more about bats at the USGS North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) website.

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 19
USGS
September 20, 2012

Terminal Phase Feeding Call of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat

When bats detect an insect from returned echolocation calls they rapidly increase the pulse rate and raise the frequency of calls in order to gather more information on the insect including location. These calls emitted right before a bat closes in on an insect are called terminal phase calls or "feeding buzzes". The frequency is well above human hearing capabilities at 65

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USGS
March 30, 2011

Beyond Billions: Threatened Bats are Worth Billions to Agriculture

Insect-eating bats provide pest-control services that save the U.S. agriculture industry over $3 billion per year, according to a study released today in the journal Science. However, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Pretoria in South Africa, University of Tennessee, and Boston University who contributed to the study warn that these valuable

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Image: Hawaiian Hoary Bat
May 31, 2009

Hawaiian Hoary Bat

A Hawaiian Hoary fits in the palm of one's hand.

USGS
May 1, 2008

I have bats in my attic, what should I do?

Listen to hear the answer.

Image: Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat

Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat

An endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, a species that is sometimes killed by wind turbines. USGS scientists from Hawaii and Colorado are devising a way to directly observe bat occurrence and behavior at wind turbines using a video system composed of high-powered illuminators and near-infrared cameras.  This new approach images the full rotor-swept areas of wind turbines for

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