Flying fox fruit bat, 1800s

Flying fox fruit bat, 1800s

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flying fox fruit bat. 19th-century illustration of a fruit bat, here named as a vampire bat and in the accompanying text given a now-outdated taxonomic name of Vespertilio vampyrus. This illustration is by Heath, from the 1800 volume (Mammalia) of 'General Zoology or Systematic Natural History' by British naturalist George Shaw (1751-1813). Shaw wrote the text (in English and Latin). He was a medical doctor, a Fellow of the Royal Society, co-founder of the Linnean Society and a zoologist at the British Museum. Shaw describes the habit of bats drinking blood, but is sceptical that such a thing would happen. He points only to the certainty with which those accounts of blood letting are described by others. In fact the true vampire bat is a different species to the one drawn here which is a harmless Pteropus fruit bat. It is thought this image inspired Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula' (1897).

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Keywords: 1 animal, 1800, 1800s, 19th century, animal, artwork, bat, biological, biology, bram stoker, colored, coloured, copperplate, dracula, fauna, flying, flying fox, fruit bat, general zoology or systematic natural history, george shaw, heath, historical, history, illustration, mammal, mammalia, natural history, nature, no-one, nobody, one, pteropus, single, vampyre, vespertilio vampyrus, wildlife, winged, wings, zoological, zoology

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