Along the Rivers – The Gallery Forests

Along the Rivers – The Gallery Forests

In this research paper, I have explored the gallery forests by clarifying the concept behind the term “gallery forest”, and studying their biogeography by reviewing some important ecoregions of North America and South America. I have discussed some of the notable gallery forests found in the Americas with respect to their geography, flora, and fauna. It is hoped that this paper will serve the interests of biologists, ecologists, botanists, zoologists, arborists, forest ecologists, biogeologists, biogeographists, and all other people including professionals, students, and laymen eager to learn about the gallery forests.


A gallery forest is a narrow stretch or strip of forest along the banks of a water body, such as a river or stream, flowing through an otherwise open country. In the above context, an open country is defined as a region that is treeless or sparsely covered with trees. A gallery forest is also known as a fringing forest or riparian forest or riverine forest. Such forests are commonly found along the water bodies flowing through the savanna (or savannah) regions. The gallery forests are known to contain different types of woody vegetation. The width of a gallery forest may vary from several miles to complete absence along the same river.
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Why Cats Fall Without Being Injured? – Watch It Live!!

Why Cats Fall Without Being Injured? – Watch It Live!!

“Cats’ animal instincts are truly stunning”

Why Cats Fall Without Getting Hurt? – See It For Yourself in This Video!!

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The Blood Feeding Vampire Bats – The Sanguivorous Mammals!!

The Blood Feeding Vampire Bats – The Sanguivorous Mammals!!

The Blood Feeding Vampire Bats Sanguivorous Mammals adidarwinian
The Blood Feeding Vampire Bat

Only three species of those whopping twelve hundred species of the bats are what can be called the “Vampires or Vampire Bats”. The denomination “Vampire” itself provokes a feeling of terror in our subtle human minds; the credit for this ghastly feeling goes to the horror novels and Hollywood flicks. Bram Stoker, an Irish novelist, wrote a very famous novel “Dracula” in which he fantasized the terrifying character of Count Dracula as a blood sucking living being (Vampire). But, this is not the right place to discuss about such fictitious stories or horrifying Hollywood scripts, rather on this scientific platform, I am here to shed light on the scientific facts and not to discuss the fancies of the human mind.


The three species of bats, which are the only ones called as the vampire bats, are all found in Latin America. They do feed on blood of birds or mammals, but that is their natural feeding habit, and therefore, they can be aptly called as – the Sanguivorous Mammals. Sanguivorous are those organisms that feed on blood. The vampire bats are, thus, neither brutal creatures nor are they cold blooded, they are just like us – warm blooded mammals. The vampire bats feed mostly on the blood of horses, livestock, and wild mammals such as deer and peccaries (peccaries are pig like mammals occurring from the southwestern United States to central Argentina). It is rare that a vampire bat bites human beings.


For feeding on the blood of an animal (prey), the vampire bat lands near a glabrous (hairless) and thin area on the animal’s skin, for example, the shoulder or hoof of the animal. Then, cautiously and discreetly, the blood feeding bat moves to a specific spot on the skin, licks that area, and then makes a small, painless incision into the skin of its prey. Then, the vampire bat laps up the animal’s blood, just like kittens, instead of sucking it as is depicted in horror scripts. The saliva of a vampire bat has an extremely potent blood-clot dissolving enzyme (thrombolytic enzyme). This enzyme keeps the blood of the victim in a fluid state, so that the bat can easily get its nutritious feed. In medicine, this enzyme is used to treat certain clotting disorders of human beings.

The Blood Feeding Vampire Bats Sanguivorous Mammals adidarwinian1
Common Vampire Bat – Desmodus rotundus

Although for the victim (that animal whose blood has been fed upon by the vampire bat/bats), the loss of the quantity of the vital fluid (blood) is not enough to pose any sort of harm to its health, but there exists a risk of infectious diseases being passed through the blood feeding vampire bat to its victim. Through the blood feeding process, the victims might get exposed to parasitic organisms, secondary infections, and rabies. Rabies is a deadly viral disease of mammals, and is mostly transmitted through the bite of an animal carrying the rabies virus. The majority of the rabies cases reported each year in the United States occur in wild animals like skunks (skunks are mammals of the family Mephitidae, found in the Western Hemisphere, and uses their anal scent glands to release a fetid odor in defense), raccoons, bats, and foxes.


Books To Read –

Vampire Bats (Naturebooks: Mammals) – at Amazon.com/Books

Vampire Bats (The Library of Bats) – at Amazon.com/Books

Stokes Beginner’s Guide to Bats – at Amazon.com/Books

Bats of the United States and Canada – at Amazon.com/Books

Understanding Bats – at Amazon.com/Books