Footage of feeding by the hairy-legged vampire bat Diphylla ecaudata refutes the hypothesis that this vampire bat sucks

2016-12-21T21:37:09Z (GMT) by Gerald Carter
Close footage taken of a captive <i>Diphylla ecaudata</i> feeding on a chicken near the cloaca. Filmed in Mexico in December, 2007. Chicken was held upside down. This footage refutes an argument by Greenhall (1988) in his chapter on feeding behavior in the book "The Natural History of Vampire Bats" (Greenhall & Schmidt, 1988, CRC Press). He writes on pages 127-128:<div><br></div><div>"The actual biting by <i>Diphylla</i> has never been described...Because of the difference in head morphology of <i>Desmodus</i> when compared to <i>Diphylla</i>, it is reasonable to surmise that the feeding behavior would be completely different...In viewing the photographs of <i>Diphylla</i>, both front and profile, noticing the broad and flexible lips, and keeping in mind the features of <i>Diphylla</i>, I speculate: that if the bat covered a wound made in the cloacal area with its lips and mouth, it could make an effective seal and then apply suction. <i>Diphylla</i> could feed in the simple, uncomplicated manner of "Dracula" not possible for <i>Desmodus</i> and <i>Diaemus</i>."</div><div><br></div><div>This footage shows <i>Diphylla ecaudata</i> using typical licking behavior to obtain blood from the bite. The wound is itself notable in being a clean "slice" wound rather than a crater-like wound resulting from a typical <i>Desmodus rotundus</i> bite. </div><div><br></div><div>The still image shows the position in which the bat attaches itself, with feet clinging to the tail feathers.</div>



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