This vampire bat, feeding on a healthy calf near Mexico City, is just one of many animals that practice hematophagy—the practice of drinking blood as a food source. In addition to vampire bats, many insects (such as mosquitoes and bedbugs), worms (such as leeches), fish (such as lampreys), and even birds (such as oxpeckers) are also hematophages.

Photograph by Bruce Dale, National Geographic

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Learn more about hematophages—animals that consume blood as food.