Scientists Discover 100,000-Year-Old Fossil of Vampire Bat

Scientists Discover 100,000-Year-Old Fossil of Vampire Bat

(RepublicanPress.org) – Most people don’t know that an extinct species of vampire bats called the Desmodus draculae lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene and possibly the early Holocene Epochs. They were about 30% larger than today’s common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). Vampire bats are the only mammal species that feed exclusively on blood, and Argentine paleontologists recently made an exciting discovery about them.

On July 26, 2021, Sci-News.com reported that Argentina paleontologists found a fossilized jaw of a Desmodus draculae in the burrow of an ancient ground sloth, once thought to be prey to those ancient winged vampires.

The sole food source for the Desmodus draculae, like other vampire bats, is blood. Argentine paleontologist Dr. Mariano Magnussen told Sci-News the extinct bats got their names from the legend of Count Dracula. All vampire bats belong to the subspecies Desmodus.

Continuing, Dr. Magnussen explained that, unlike Dracula, the Desmodus draculae are peaceful mammals that feed on small amounts of blood from other animals in small amounts “without causing discomfort.” However, like modern bats, Desmodus draculae could transmit diseases like rabies if they were infected, which presented a risk to other animals.

Three species of vampire bats still roam the earth from Mexico in the north to Argentina in the south. Thank goodness they aren’t as large as the now extinct Desmodus draculae species.

Copyright 2021, RepublicanPress.org