Vampire Bats on the Run

Vampire bats on treadmills show a surprising, distinctive running style.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM March 17, 2005

Vampire bats sound pretty scary. Even though they suck blood from large mammals, however, they're remarkable creatures. They're smart. They're agile, stealthy night fliers. They have heat sensors in their noses to zero in on suitable feeding places.

Here's something else to add to the list. Scientists have recently discovered that vampire bats can run.

A vampire bat on a treadmill lopes along at 0.6 meter per second. Video-camera images taken every 24 milliseconds reveal its unusual style of running.

Researchers were surprised by the discovery. Bats are quick fliers and good at hanging upside down, but they're notoriously awkward on land. The...

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