Hey everyone, how’s your week going? Pretty good? If so, that’s great. But we’re here to ruin it for you because we have… bat news. And while it has nothing to do with coronaviruses, it’s still haunting.
Scientists have described in a new study the fossilized jawbone of a 100,000-year-old vampire bat. One that was relatively massive and apparently had no trouble drinking mammal blood.
SyFy Wire picked up on the new study published in the Argentinian journal Ameghiniana. Dr. Santiago Brizuela, a paleontologist at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata in Argentina, led the team of scientists that aimed to describe the extinct vampire bat’s fossil.
In their study, Brizuela and his colleagues describe the prehistoric jawbone paleontologists discovered inside of a cave near southeastern Buenos Aires. Extrapolating from the jawbone, the paleontologists say this particular vampire bat—which belonged to the species, Desmodus draculae—had a 20-inch-long wingspan and a body mass of two ounces. Which may sound small, but is huge for this species of bat. In fact, it appears this particular specimen is the largest-ever vampire bat in history.
“The size of Desmodus draculae was larger than that of a computer keyboard and significantly larger than that of its living relatives,” Brizuela told Sci-News. The paleontologist also said that this specimen’s skull is up to 30% larger than those belonging to extant vampire bats. (Incidentally, this bat species name is indeed a nod to the legends of Count Dracula.)