Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

How Vampire Bats Evolved To Live On Blood Alone 82

New research has discovered some of the genetic changes that allowed vampire bats to live on a diet of pure blood. One of the bats' most important evolutionary traits is the ability to manipulate an anticoagulant protein in their blood and saliva. In humans similar proteins protect against heart attack by breaking up blood clots and clearing vessels.

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How Vampire Bats Evolved To Live On Blood Alone

Comments Filter:
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:56PM (#25587511) Journal
    They just needed to pass the BAR exam [wikipedia.org].
  • by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:06PM (#25587635)
    Who care? What we all really want to know is how Batman evolved from human to hero. Are the tights the key?
  • Simple. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:07PM (#25587651) Homepage Journal

    "They live on blood because that's how God designed them!"
    Sarah Palin
    • Re:Simple. (Score:5, Funny)

      by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:54PM (#25588281)

      I swear, half of Slashdot is secretly hoping McCain wins, because if he loses, they won't have anything to post.

      • I swear, half of Slashdot is secretly hoping McCain wins, because if he loses, they won't have anything to post.

        If he does win, we wont have anything to post on, because the world will have been bombed to hell.
        -Taylor
        (Note: I'm kidding.... sort of.)

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If he loses, we won't be able to cry ourselves to sleep anymore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chris Burke ( 6130 )

        I swear, half of Slashdot is secretly hoping McCain wins, because if he loses, they won't have anything to post.

        I'm not worried, since Palin has promised to continue providing us with material in either case.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He is at the edge of death. Let McCain wins the election and get Palin as president in a year.

        OTOH, Obama would probably follow the same path than Lincoln and Kennedy.

      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        Rush Limbaugh just signed a half-billion dollar media contract.

        You can bet the need for responsible refutation of right-wing lies will not be eliminated by the simple expedient of clearing them out of the White House and Congress.

        And it'll be a decade or more before the Supreme Court is wrested from their cold, dead, Strict Manipulationist fingers.

      • There will be plenty to post, unless you think that Obama is going to come true on every single thing people expect. Which, even if he does so on most, it's unlike he won't turn around on at least some key issues.

    • Once upon a time a man was attacked by a vampire bird
      He was sucked to death
      The vampire bird killed him at last

      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat

      The lake of fire tore his ass up
      He was burning to the crisp
      He was cast into the lake of burning flame

      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      Vampire bat
      After the vampire bird sucked blood out of me
      He started stabbing me in my ass
      Then three more vampire birds stabbed me in my ass too
      They sucked the blood out of me ki
  • Drinking blood is cool and all with the genome project (even though they're saying there isn't one but if there was) but that's only the way vampires feed. How about they do something useful and give us immortality and the strength of 20 dudes and all the other cool abilities? Then I'll be impressed, oh yeah and none of the weaknesses. Happy Halloween everyone!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or just make all the women look like Kate Beckinsale. Being bitten on the neck is a small price to pay for my wife having that body.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by nomadic ( 141991 )
        Did you show your wife this comment?
        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          Actually lots of women might agree with him.

          Many put up with a lot of worse crap than a small bite, just to get better looking bodies, and those treatments often don't work or don't work well.
      • by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:45PM (#25588173)

        "Or just make all the women look like Kate Beckinsale. Being bitten on the neck is a small price to pay for my wife having that body."

        Yeah, but you also get made into her slave and enter into a life of servitude...oh, wait...

        • by crossmr ( 957846 )

          Why is this funny? Did people think he was joking? he should be modded informative or insightful..

    • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:37PM (#25588069)

      How about they do something useful and give us immortality and the strength of 20 dudes and all the other cool abilities? Then I'll be impressed, oh yeah and none of the weaknesses.

      Hell I honestly think I could live with the weaknesses if it meant immortality.

      I mean seriously what do vampires have against them? An inability to interact with religious objects, an aversion to sunlight, no reflection, and they can't eat garlic?

      I'd bet that 1 and 2 aren't an issue for most Slashdotters anyways, and most probably don't care about their own reflection either (heck usually when I see mine it's a glare on my screen so if I didn't show up then all the better). The garlic thing might be an issue, but I'm sure me and Papa John's could work something out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        No garlic? Count me out!

        Wait, are you saying that's why I'm such a "hit" at parties?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by tngaijin ( 997389 )

        Hell I honestly think I could live with the weaknesses if it meant immortality.

        I mean seriously what do vampires have against them? An inability to interact with religious objects, an aversion to sunlight, no reflection, and they can't eat garlic?

        I'd bet that 1 and 2 aren't an issue for most Slashdotters anyways, and most probably don't care about their own reflection either (heck usually when I see mine it's a glare on my screen so if I didn't show up then all the better). The garlic thing might be an issue, but I'm sure me and Papa John's could work something out.

        "Just send over a delivery guy with marinara sauce, pepperoni and cheese on his neck please."

      • Immortality sucks if something really bad happens to you, and you can't "die your way out".

        And given a long enough life, the odds of something really bad happening to you become quite high.

        Sometimes that's what I think hell is. Imagine if all of us actually have immortal souls.

        And if we do not wish to allow God to change us and make us perfect, then we will spend an eternity being imperfect.

        Which isn't that great if you think about it. Eternity is a very very long time.

        Naturally you won't be allowed into He
        • Someone gets to choose what is perfect for me? I'm perfectly fine being imperfect then.

          Btw, there do exist perfect humans. They are just called dolls.

        • by Darby ( 84953 )

          Naturally you won't be allowed into Heaven, since you'd eventually make it crappy for everyone there.

          The being who invented ebola, torture, and every other disgusting thing you can think of is running the place, so it's hard to imaging how a person could make it any worse.

          Seriously, you loons need to learn to think about your brainwashing honestly for 5 minutes. That would be the day all religion died forever.

          • Learn about religions. It's called free will. Earth is run by humans who invented everything you mentioned, and still allow it to continue. No one actually 'goes' to heaven, at least, not in the bible, that's just church fabrication, and only some churches!

            God has nothing to do with your misconstrued notions of religion.

            IANAC, however, like a true scientific skeptic, i've actually read what the bible contains and don't argue against fairy tales that the church and misguided individuals have created. You

    • by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @02:40PM (#25588103)

      The NY Times had an interesting story [nytimes.com] last week about creatures that dine on blood.

      Apparently, most obligate hematophages tend to be very small- insects and such, because blood is not an ideal source of nutrition. In particular, blood has almost no dietary fat, so a large hematophage like a vampire bat, "must consume the equivalent of half their one-ounce body weight in blood every night or risk starving to death."

      Also, apparently blood is about 95% water, and so to keep from gaining too much water weight, vampire bats "urinate freely as they feed." That's a detail that seems to be missing from most vampire movies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Billhead ( 842510 )
      As if you go out in the sun much anyways.
  • Off Topic (Score:2, Funny)

    by Number6.2 ( 71553 )

    Fly, my Children! FLY! Bwaha ha ah ah ha ha ha ah ah ha!

  • Just put friggin' lasers on their friggin heads!

    Imagine, flying blood-sucking death laser pointers... Deadly AND entertaining, Win-win! >:D
    • Deadly AND entertaining

      Isn't that a bit redundant?

      • by R2.0 ( 532027 )

        Deadly AND entertaining

        Isn't that a bit redundant?

        I dunno - seasonal flu kills thousands, and there's not a whole lot of humor in vomiting and diarrhea.

        Unless you are into that sort of thing.

        Not that there's anything wrong with that...

        • I dunno - seasonal flu kills thousands, and there's not a whole lot of humor in vomiting and diarrhea.
          Unless you are into that sort of thing.

          When two people love each other, then sometimes....

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          You mean that 2girls1cup wasn't a comedy sketch? That explains why I was the only one laughing while everyone else in the room was retching...

          That almost makes it sound like there's something wrong with me instead of them.

  • by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @03:25PM (#25588719) Journal
    Mosquitos have stealth going for them, but I really don't understand how a bat is gonna feed on a mammal without getting beaten off. I mean, you can't really not notice a one-ounce hairy beast sucking on your neck and pissing on you at the same time. If a bat tried to feed on me, I'd pound it to a pulp.
  • How vampire bats split off from insect-eating bats: "Once you're pulling insects off of a mammal, it's a very small step to going after the blood." lol
  • BATS? Yawn. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whitehatlurker ( 867714 ) on Friday October 31, 2008 @04:30PM (#25589427) Journal
    Bats are old hat - vampire moths [nationalgeographic.com] are the next wave.

    (Oblig. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] reference.)

    Granted, a moth costume is more difficult to make for Halloween.

    • by FleaPlus ( 6935 )

      Granted, a moth costume is more difficult to make for Halloween.

      You have to admit though, dressing up as Arthur [wikipedia.org] from the Tick would be pretty awesome. Especially Arthur with vampire teeth.

  • would have been how the bats manage to avoid becoming haemophilic despite constantly secreting and ingesting a plasminogen activator, especially one resistant to inhibition. I mean not all of the protein is going to be be broken down before absorption. I'm not sure what the kinetics of the bat PA are like but Id imagine a low concentration could activate alot of plasminogens since you usually want your blood to clot pretty fast after getting cut.
  • McDonald's should offer anticoagulants as a condiment.

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

Working...