vampire bat

noun

Definition of vampire bat

: any of several bats (Desmodus rotundus, Diaemus youngi, and Diphylla ecaudata of the subfamily Desmodontinae of the family Phyllostomidae) of Mexico and Central and South America that feed on the blood of birds and mammals and especially domestic animals and that are sometimes vectors of disease and especially of rabies also : any of several other bats (as of the families Megadermatidae and Phyllostomidae) that do not feed on blood but are sometimes reputed to do so

Illustration of vampire bat

Illustration of vampire bat

Examples of vampire bat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or slow-motion video of a vampire bat catching a mouse? Anand Varma, National Geographic, "Episode 8: How I Learned to Love Zombie Parasites," 4 Aug. 2020 And vampire bats famously carry another virus, rabies. The Economist, "Bats spread viruses," 18 Apr. 2020 For example, vampire bats continue to provide food for their sick groupmates, but avoid grooming them. Popular Science, "Social distancing works—just ask lobsters, ants, and vampire bats," 6 Apr. 2020 Biologists have long wondered how such relationships form in the first place and how vampire bats maintain them, especially because the animals involved are not kin. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Blood Ties: Vampire Bats Build Trust to Become Food-Sharing Pals," 19 Mar. 2020 That’s why vampire bats make the perfect subject for this kind of study, Carter says. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, "Vampire bats know the true meaning of friendship—sharing slurps of blood," 23 Mar. 2020 Now new research has tapped into the secrets of how vampire bats form these intimate bonds. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Blood Ties: Vampire Bats Build Trust to Become Food-Sharing Pals," 19 Mar. 2020 Together, the two experiments show that dogs, like vampire bats, can sense weak hot spots and that a specific region of their brains is activated by this infrared radiation, the scientists say. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "New sense discovered in dog noses: The ability to detect heat," 28 Feb. 2020 There’s the famous vampire bat, which nicks the ankles of cattle and other animals and laps the trickling blood. James Gorman, New York Times, "Meet the Bloodsuckers," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vampire bat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vampire bat

1790, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for vampire bat

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The first known use of vampire bat was in 1790

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Cite this Entry

“Vampire bat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vampire%20bat. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for vampire bat

vampire bat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vampire bat

: a bat from Central and South America that sucks the blood of people and animals

vampire bat

noun

Kids Definition of vampire bat

: a bat of tropical America that feeds on the blood of birds and mammals

vampire bat

noun

Medical Definition of vampire bat

: any of several Central and South American bats (Desmodus rotundus, Diaemus youngi, and Diphylla ecaudata) that feed on the blood of birds and mammals and especially domestic animals and that are sometimes vectors of disease and especially of rabies also : any of several other bats that do not feed on blood but are sometimes reputed to do so

More from Merriam-Webster on vampire bat

Nglish: Translation of vampire bat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vampire bat

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