Human encroachment typically means bad news for a given species (recent examples include giraffes and cheetahs), but one mammal appears to be fighting back. Researchers say the hairy-legged vampire bat has adapted surprisingly fast from drinking the blood of birds to that of humans to survive.
According to the New York Post, some species of the winged-mammals, which are commonly found soaring across America, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, have indeed been secretly sucking human blood.
Scientists at Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil claim that a colony of hairy-legged vampire bats are the culprits, after tracing human DNA from 70 feces samples of these bats.
Enrico Bernard, the lead researcher from the university, said he and his team “were quite surprised” by their recent findings.
“This species isn’t adapted to feed on the blood of mammals,” he revealed.
The chilling revelation contradicts previous experiments on the air-gliding critters, which reflected that they would rather starve than eat any other mammal blood.
Bernard said that its no longer the case with these bats, who seemed to discover that human blood is thicker and higher in protein than the fatty bird plasma.
Aside from the obvious safety threats to humans, the new discovery could also increase the transmission of disease at a terrifying rate.
Vampire bats are notorious for carrying the dreaded rabies disease, which often cause outbreaks in Brazil.
Just last year, 12 children were recorded to have died in Brazil due to attacks from rabid blood-sucking bats, while two children also perished in Peru after dying from infection due to bat bites