and by terrifying, I mean awesome.

A gif of a vampire bat running popped up on my tumblr dash, and I decided to investigate. While most bats can walk in some fashion, several years ago, scientists discovered that vampire bats are capable of running. So far, vampire bats are the only bat species that can run, reaching speeds of 2.5 MPH. What's even more interesting is the way that the bats run. According to John Hermanson of Cornell University, a member of the team that discovered the bats' running ability,

"Unlike most animals which use their hind legs as a source of power, these exceptional creatures power their run with their forelimbs. ... Getting most of the push from their long forelimbs — actually their wings and [which are] therefore very strong — the bats run more like a small gorilla than a comparable four-legged creature like a mouse."


Scientists aren't sure why the bats can run, although they theorize it's to approach or get away from prey faster.

Nature is amazing, you guys.