snacking on a cow
VAMPIRES: When most of us think of bats, the Vampire Bat is one of the first to come to mind. Vampire bats don't really turn into Count Dracula, they rarely bite people and they rarely kill their prey.
Vampire bats prey mainly on cows, horses and other large mammals. They make a shallow wound with their razor-sharp teeth then they lick up the blood. Each bat only drinks about an ounce of blood each night.
Although Vampire Bats may be the ones most commonly remembered, there are many other kinds of bats. Bats can be found in most parts of the world -- forests, deserts, jungles and cities! There are close to 1,000 different species of bats. With all of these different bats, it's not surprising that they don't eat all the same thing.
A lot of bats, including the flying fox, eat fruit. Although some of these bats are pests to people who own orchards, they play an important roll in nature. The fruit bats spread the seeds of the fruit they eat -- they are responsible for scattering up to 95% of the seeds needed for new trees in tropical rain forests.
There are also a number of bats who eat insects, fish, frogs and small animals. Meat eating bats fly out at night (they are "nocturnal") to hunt for their food when many of the other predators are fast asleep.