FunHow do vampires know where to bite?

How do vampires know where to bite?

Vampire bats ( Desmodus rotundus ) have a sensor capable of detecting the heat of the blood of their victims , which allows them to quickly find the veins of their prey to give an infallible bite, as revealed by a study by the University of California , San Francisco (USA) and the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research.

Specifically, these animals have an ion channel called TRPV1 that is found in the nerve endings of the animal's nose . This sensor is present in most vertebrates, and its function is to detect heat that would be harmful to body tissues, causing a sensation of pain or burning from 43ºC. However, vampire bats produce a more sensitive variant in their nose that responds from as low as 30ºC . "It is like a thermostat that helps them find where to bite their prey," explains physiologist David Julius, co-author of the work published today in the journal Nature .

The finding could help design drugs in the form of sensors that act similarly in humans.

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