According to a new study, bats found in Brazil have started feeding on human beings.
According to new research, bats in Brazil are now feeding on chickens and humans. The shift in their feeding pattern is as a result of habitats being destroyed.
Enrico Bernard from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife told New Scientist "We were quite surprised. This species isn't adapted to feed on the blood of mammals."
Scientists found 15 examples of human DNA in a study sample of 70 bat faeces.
Bernard with his team analysed waste from D. ecaudata, a subspecies of the vampire bat and discovered that these bats have moved beyond feeding on fowl. D. ecaudata is regarded as a “bird specialist.”
This development is a surprise to scientists. Previous studies have shown that these bats would rather starve than feed on the blood of pigs yet alone humans.
Bats feeding on vampires has its health risks.
Daniel Becker from the University of Georgia in Athens told New Scientist that "Past work has found that it carries the hantavirus."
The hantavirus is mostly found in rodents and it can be fatal to humans when transferred. Bats are also known to carry rabies.
Enrico Bernard and his team plan on carrying further studies to see how harmful these animals would be to human beings. They plan on going to the homes of people who live close to bat caves and observe how they are being bitten.
They also intend on finding out how these bats enter people's homes.