At first glance, many take a dislike to the vampire bat; flapping around, giving everyone the heeby jeebies, and getting a load of free drinks. But give him a chance dear reader; this flappy chappy actually always gets his round of drinks in …
The vampire bat is of course impeccably adapted to drinking blood. He will fly in absolute darkness to slurp on mammals, while its two closest relatives prefer birds. He first detects its prey through the snuffling and snoring that we animals do when we sleep, and indeed the bit of its brain that deals with this information is rather pronounced—much like the bit in the Pilkington-Smythe’s bonce that locates booze.
To get to all that lovely red stuff unsurprisingly the vampire bats have big fangy teeth at the front, though it is not for the reason you would presume. First, if their prey is particularly hirsute, they use their teeth as a razor and shave the area they want to eat. Secondly they nick open the wound and lap at it with their tongue. A substance in their saliva called draculin stops the blood clotting and, like a quiet night in a Scottish pub, they proceed to drink up to half their body weight in blood. Of course, this is where going to the toilet rather sharply comes in handy, especially for a super-light flying mammal, a liquid lunch being frightfully heavy-going you see. It quickly gets the wet bit of the blood and bundles it out of the back door via the kidneys. In fact, a common vampire bat’s digestive system works so quickly it will begin wazzing within two minutes of starting to feed.
Most creatures don’t like being shaven in the night, especially if it leads to having your blood drunk and being wazzed all over. So it won’t be a surprise to discover that sometimes vampire bats don’t get a delicious bloody meal. Quite often, a vampire bat will go home empty-bellied. Not a problem though, as when they arrive back at the big spooky castle they live in … what … don’t they? How disappointing! Once they arrive back in the very dark tree stump they call home, the ones who haven’t got a meal will go and ask for one from the neighbor … yes, like borrowing a cup of sugar … as they may well die without getting a feed. All very well, if indeed your idea of vampires vomiting blood into each other’s mouths is all very well… as it would seem that these bats are rather kind, friendly, and neighborly after all. Some learned types decided to do an experiment to see if bats would always share their spoils, and it turns out that there is a catch. They will stop sharing with a bat if that bat stops sharing the blood they collect. So vampire bats will only shout you a drink if you shout them one back. The moral of the story: don’t be nice to anyone. Gad’s, that can’t be right—be nice to vampires … nope … always urinate when drinking half your body weight … closer … dammit, just be nice.