The vampire bat lives up to its name. Its diet consists of blood, which it gets by biting animals and lapping up their blood. The vampire bat prefers to feed on domestic animals such as cows and pigs. When it does so, there is a risk of transmission of pathogens such as rabies. Now, a new study lead by Assistant Professor Kristine Bohmann from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, describes a new DNA method to efficiently screen many vampire bat blood meal and faecal samples with a high success rate and thereby determine which animals the vampire bats have fed on blood from. Furthermore, the authors show that the technique can be used to simultaneously assess the vampire bat’s population structure.
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