Written by Kirsty Walker
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Topics: Scientists, Bats

Friday, 9 November 2001

image for Scientists : 65% of Vampire bats are show-offs

In a report out today, scientists suggest that 65% of all bats who categorise themselves as "Vampire" are just exaggerating to look big in front of their mates.

The species desmodus rotundus is commonly found in South America, and eats by sucking the blood of small mammals such as shrews, and occasionally ruminant cattle. There are roughly 800,000 Vampire Bats in the wild, making up 9' of the world's bat population. A survey of the bat population, however, has revealed that 65' of all "vampire bats" are actually fruit bats and pipistrels masquerading as the "Hard Men" of the bat world.

Professor Kevin Meger has studied bats for 15 years, and was unsurprised at the findings of the report;

"In my experience, deep down, all bats want to be vampire bats. The image of a blood sucking carnivore associated with monster folklore is very appealing to a species such as the fruit bat, which eats berries and is quite cuddly. Other cuter bats also aspire to be vampires, pipstrelles for example, weigh less than 1lb and aren't very imposing."

One bat, who doesn't wish to be named, admits that he isn't actually a vampire bat, but a Whiskered Bat, myotis mystacinus;

"I know it's daft, but it's mostly for the benefit of the girls, know what I mean? I'm a European bat, I've never even been to South America, but if you give it some, put on the accent and flash your teeth a bit, it looks a bit impressive. There's hundreds of bats where I live, but they all eat fruit, or flies and stuff. Pretending you drink blood just makes you look a bit more flash."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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