Marty’s photo of the day #2633: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order.

V is for Vampire Bat. Vampire bats are often exterminated when humans move into their territory. The bats are holding their own, for now, but they’re a good example of what can be lost if humans indiscriminately kill off “undesirable” species. Once a plant or animal is eradicated, so are all the potential medical benefits it could have provided. People surviving heart attacks or strokes after being given the blood-thinning drug Draculin owe their lives to bats. Draculin is derived from the anticoagulant found in vampire bat saliva—the most effective anticoagulant known to man. (Photographed in Belize)