Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, American Leaf-nosed Bats And People, California Leaf-nosed Bat (macrotus Californicus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - Behavior And Reproduction

vampire vampires blood people

American leaf-nosed bats typically form colonies (groups), yet the numbers in the groups vary widely both within and among species. Sizes of groups range from pairs to colonies made up of several hundred thousand individuals.

BLOOD-SUCKING STORIES

Long before Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897, there were stories about vampires. In many human cultures, vampires are people who return from the dead to feed on the blood of living people. When Spanish explorers spotted vampire bats when they came to Central and South America in the 1500s, they noticed how their feeding off the blood of other animals was similar to the vampires of their own legends. A few hundred years later European explorers traveling in the New World discovered these bats and brought them back to Europe. The bats were given the common name vampire bats, after the vampire myths. Stoker, who lived in England, was one of the people fascinated with the stories of vampire bats and incorporated them into his story. With the popularity of the novel, bats in general soon became associated with the blood-sucking vampires and this stigma continues in modern day.

All species of American leaf-nosed bats use echolocation (eck-oh-loh-KAY-shun) to detect objects and catch their prey (animals hunted for food). Echolocation is when an animal emits (sends out) high-pitched sounds that bounce off an object and return to the animal, which can then tell where the object is. These bats emit echolocation calls through their nose rather than their mouth.

Mating and reproduction vary widely among the species. Spectral vampire bats mate monogamously (muh-NAH-guh-mus-lee), meaning a male and female mate only with one another. The most common mating system is harem polygynous (HARE-um puh-LIJ-uh-nus), meaning one male mates with multiple females. Females in this family have one offspring either once or twice a year.

American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - American Leaf-nosed Bats And People [next] [back] American Leaf-Nosed Bats: Phyllostomidae - Physical Characteristics

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