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Session 26

Scientists have discovered how vampire bats can survive on a blood-only diet. Neil and Catherine teach you the language the world's media is using to discuss this story.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

Vampire bats' blood-only diet

Scientists have found that vampire bats can survive on a blood-only diet because of genetic and digestive differences which have evolved over time.

Language challenge

Which of these 'blood' idioms means that family relationships are closer than friendships?

a) it's like getting blood from a stone
b) to have blood on your hands
c) blood is thicker than water

Watch the video and complete the activity




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The story

A new study has found that vampire bats have undergone many genetic changes to be able to live on a blood-only diet.

The three species of bats are the only mammals to feed exclusively on blood.

The study found that vampire bats' genes involved in immune response and metabolism are very different from the genes of other bats.

The study also found that the microbes in their guts are very distinct from those of the fruit and insect-eating bats - giving vampire bats protection against diseases.


keen to enjoy violence

iron guts
the ability to eat or drink anything without vomiting

live off
depend on something or someone for money or food

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language.

News Review quiz

3 Questions

Now you've watched the video, try to answer these questions about the language in the news.

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You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here. 

Language challenge - answer

c) blood is thicker than water


We hope you enjoyed this episode of News Review. You can find more episodes here.