Scientists Figure out How Vampire Bats Got a Taste for Blood

Scientists have figured out why vampire bats are the only mammals that can survive on a diet of just blood.

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This photo provided by Sherri and Brock Fenton/AAAS in March 2022 shows a vampire bat in flight. According to a report published Friday, March 25, 2022 in the journal Science Advances, scientists have figured out why vampire bats are the only mammals that can survive on a diet of only blood. (Sherri and Brock Fenton/AAAS via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Sherri

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have figured out why vampire bats are the only mammals that can survive on a diet of just blood. They compared the genome of common vampire bats to 26 other bat species and identified 13 genes that are missing or no longer work in vampire bats. Over the years, those gene tweaks helped them adapt to a blood diet rich in iron and protein but with minimal fats or carbohydrates, the…

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