The Venom: Vampire bats drink blood from other animals. The bat’s saliva contains compounds that prevent clotting and keep the victim’s blood flowing while the bat drinks.
Poison Plus: The vampire bat’s anticlotting agent, known as Draculin, may lead researchers to a life-saving drug for stroke patients. In humans, blood clots in the brain can cause strokes and brain damage. Draculin could potentially dissolve these clots more safely than current drugs. The first anticlotting drug, hirudin, was discovered in 1884 in leeches; it is still used today in severe clotting cases.