Researchers have discovered that vampire bats build social relationships. And that is by sharing newly drained blood with others of their roost who are unfamiliar with them. According to a study published in the famous journal Current Biology, this is exactly what it was. A French kiss was said to look like this at first glance.
At first glance, it may seem to be really disgusting. However, what this activity truly demonstrates is that vampire bats are incredibly sociable creatures.
The principal author of the new research, Gerald Carter, a professor at Ohio State University, expressed his opinions on this matter. It is his belief that vampire bats share their food in a manner similar to how many birds regurgitate food for the sake of their young. That is, they do this for other adults as well as some previously unknown individuals. This is unique to vampire bats.
Every three days, vampire bats require a blood meal.
If they do not exchange food, they face the danger of starving to death, making the food-exchanging behavior potentially life-saving.
For their investigation, scientists analyzed a group of two unique vampire bat colonies (Desmodus rotundus) located in different parts of the country. This meant that most of the bats had never met each other before, increasing the importance of blood-sharing bonding among them.
Scientists spent 15 months watching unknown couples groom each other, which is a habit that has been seen in other animals, like monkeys. They may groom their fur to get rid of parasites from their skin and stop the spread of diseases. However, the researchers think that this habit serves a far more important role.
Carter says that even when their fur is free of parasitic organisms, they keep grooming each other a lot more than they need to do. It’s thought by these animals that social grooming is a kind of cash. And it’s also a great technique to build trust and tolerance with a new member.
It wasn’t long before the bats began swapping blood meals with one another via their mouths. Nearly 15% of the bats were seen doing this activity with a partner they had never met before.
Why do vampire bats groom one other before sharing blood meals?
One possible reason is that this is a way to screen out potential friends or partners before making a long-term deal with them. There is no doubt that there is a lot more work to be done in this field.
The study of vampire bats’ social relations might become more important in the future. Vampire bats might soon be invading the United States due to climate change, according to a new study.