Monday, May 01, 2006

Tiptoe, on the cow hide....

Not that we got to open the door and see them, but just seeing this sign made me giggle.

Several years ago, after attending a educational seminar on bats, Tina gave a very amusing overview of how a vampire bat actually eats. She told us that it tiptoes up to its prey, nips a tiny vein, licks daintily at the blood (using a anticoagulant in its saliva to keep the wound from closing) and, when it's full, tiptoes away. She did a interpretive dance of the tiptoeing. There was much guffawing.

There are currently 11 bats living in the exhibit at the zoo. After the tour was over, we went back into the night exhibit and waited until our eyes adjusted. We could see three little bats flapping about, licking delicately at the water bottle filled with blood.

Apparently, these misaligned little creatures even have an altruistic behavior pattern with other vampire bats. If another bat roosting nearby was unable to feed, the bat who has eaten will regurgitate some of its meal for the hungry little bat. Awww. How can people be afraid of these little guys? Tiptoeing, lunch-sharing, four inch long mammals. Cuuuuuute.

That is....Until you see their lunch! Well, their lunch refrigerator. I missed the shot of the pitcher of cow's blood from the slaughterhouse down the road, mixed with anticoagulant, of course, 'cause you wouldn't want a big bucket of clot.

No comments: