Vampire bat

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Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus)
The common vampire bat, taken from Brehm's Tierleben

Vampire bats is a subfamily of bats. Unlike other bats, vampire bats feed on blood. Currently, there are three species of bats known to do this. All of them live in the Americas, in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Of the three known species, one feeds on the blood of mammals, the other two on the blood of birds.

The common vampire bat lives in large groups, of up to 100 animals. They have developed complex social behaviour.

Vampire bats commonly spread diseases, most notably rabies. The saliva of the vampire bats contain chemicals that prevent the clotting of the blood of the victim; this has been used to develop drugs to help the patients of strokes and heart attacks.

The false vampire bats are not vampire bats; they do not feed on blood, some eat fruits, others devour small animals.

Vampires may be modelled on bats.