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Misc | Searching for the Vampire Bat

Searching for the Vampire Bat

The Atlantic Published on Oct 23, 2018
Deep in the Mayan forests of Mexico lives the rarely-seen Vampyrum spectrum—the false vampire bat. Little is known about these carnivorous mammals, as their nocturnal lifestyle and remote habitats make them exceedingly difficult to study.
That didn’t deter biologist Rodrigo Medellin and photographer Anand Varma. In Jason Jaacks’s short documentary, In Search of Tzotz, Medellin, Professor of Ecology at the University of Mexico, and Varma, on assignment for National Geographic, spent months scouring ancient ruins and labyrinthine caves in the Yucatan for traces of the mysterious winged creatures, whom the Maya called Tzotz.

“Through Dr. Medellin's research and Anand's incredible visual storytelling skills, we witnessed several new behaviors never before seen by science,” Jaacks told The Atlantic.  “We spent quite a bit of time crammed in a small tunnel inside an 800-year-old Mayan temple, in near-pitch darkness, filming the False Woolly Vampire bat roost. To hear a bat with a 2.5-foot wingspan fly over you in tight quarters was utterly amazing...Being in the presence of these bats is an awe-inspiring feeling.”

"In Search of Tzotz" was directed by Jason Jaacks. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

Anand Varma American photographer
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Anand Varma Photography



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BatsRule!: Misc | Searching for the Vampire Bat
Misc | Searching for the Vampire Bat
Misc | Searching for the Vampire Bat
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