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What are vampire bats (2 minutes):

The social lives of vampire bats (1 hour):

This was a plenary talk was at the 2022 Animal Behavior Society Meeting. Other 45-min talks on youtube can be found here

Virtual conference talks (2020) from my lab (6 minutes each): (1) Development of new relationships by Gerry Carter, (2) Sickness behavior in vampire bats by Postdoc Basti Stockmaier, (3) Social foraging in vampire bats by Postdoc Simon Ripperger.

Videos of social grooming and food sharing in vampire bats in Panama:

Food sharing in common vampire bats (captive-born bats):

Vampire bats in cave in Panama

Captive colony timelapse (from Organization for Bat Conservation)

Captive colony of vampire bats sample clip (from Organization for Bat Conservation)

Vampires sharing food across a cage-wall barrier

More information: Carter et al. 2017. Food-sharing vampire bats are more nepotistic under conditions of perceived risk

Playback experiments showing vocal recognition in white-winged vampire bats:

More information:

White-winged vampire bats close-up

Food begging behavior in white-winged vampire bats

Vampire bat detects surveillance camera

Non-maternal grooming of a pup

Captive bat feeding on live animal for the first time.

More information: Berrío-Martínez et al. 2019. The role of past experience in the development of feeding behavior in common vampire bats

Isolation calls of a vampire bat pup and mother’s response

More information: Bohn et al. 2006 on correlated evolution between hearing and pup isolation calls in bats.

Should we kill vampire bats?

More information:

Food sharing explained by David Attenborough from the BBC’s Trials of Life (1990):

Jerry Wilkinson talks about his PhD work on food-sharing in vampire bats. (1997, BBC)

More information: Food-sharing in vampire bats (Scientific American, 1990)

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Video

Animal friendship talk by Lauren Brent (TED)

Robert Seyfarth on baboons and the evolutionary origins of friendship (Annual Reviews)


People often ask me for pictures of vampire bats. Many of the ones you find via Google Search are not great. These ones are by Uwe Schmidt, myself, and others and are available to use under a Creative Commons License (click on images for more information).

You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to remix – to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:
attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Photos by Gerald Carter

Common vampire
Common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus

Not a great photo, but hard to get color photo of food sharing. Here’s more.Regurgitated food sharing in common vampire bats, Desmodus rotundus

I purchased the rights to these next 3 photos from Traer Scott and they can be used with my permission:

Photos by Uwe Schmidt

Common Vampire Bat Skull

Hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata ) by Gerald Carter
Hairy-legged vampire bat, Diphylla ecaudata (closeup)

Hairy-legged vampire bat, Diphylla ecaudata

White-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi) by Gerald Carter

For a great picture of a white-winged vampire bat, see this one by Dan Riskin.

Here are photos by Rachel Moon:

Merlin Tuttle’s vampire bat photos are excellent.

Brock Fenton has an amazing collection of vampire bat photos (examples). These require his permission for use.

There are many good pics on iNaturalist that can be requested from the owner.

If you would like to share good-quality images for vampire bats under the same or similar license, you can send them to me and I will post them here. Or you can post a link in the comments below.

Drawings by Imran Razik (permission required for use)

3 thoughts on “Multimedia

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