Halloween Chaos Countdown: Vampires in Nature
14 days until Halloween!
When people think of vampire animals the first thing that typically comes to mind are vampire bats. The vampire/bat link in vampire folklore could have originated from observations of vampire bats feeding on livestock and people. It isn’t clear if Bram Stoker got this idea from observing vampire bats before writing Dracula but it’s possible.
But vampire bats aren’t the only haematophagous animals. Here are 9 bloodsuckers found in nature that you may not have heard of:
I) The vampire finch, or Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis, feeds on the blood of other birds. They live in the Galapagos Islands and are endangered.
II) Vampire moths have been discovered throughout the world, prominently in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They feed mostly on animals but have been known to fill up on human blood as well. There is even a species of vampire butterfly which feeds of the blood of the dead!
III) The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lit. “vampire squid of Hell”) are deep-sea cephalopods which haven’t changed much since the 300 MILLION years that they’ve been around! When they feel threatened, they turn inside out into a “pumpkin posture.” Scientists are still trying to figure out their feeding behavior and how their filaments work since they do not grasp at prey like other cephalopods.
IV) Oxpeckers are a species of parasitic bird which feeds not only on the blood or large mammals, but also ticks, earwax, and dandruff.
VI) Vandellia cirrhosa, also known as vampire fish, are a parasitic Amazonian catfish which has been alleged to climb up human urethra by climbing up with the bony spikes on its head where it then attaches itself to feed on blood. Fun!
VII) Evarcha culicivora, or vampire spiders, reside in Kenya and ironically feed on the most common bloodsucker, the mosquito.
VIII) Leeches have been used for medicine and getting attacked by them fucking sucks, especially since there is never just one leech, there are hundreds of them. The ones here in Thailand actually leap out at you. Imagine walking through the woods during monsoon season, checking out some nature, and suddenly every few steps, little black slimy things leap out at you and stick to your feet and legs sucking your yummy blood. I had no idea they could leap! That shit was scary and of course reminded me of this:
IX) Lamprey eels are the most fucking creepy blood-sucking animals out there! With that cluster of little razor-sharp teeth they use to latch onto passing animals in the water to suck their blood, it’s hard not to look at pics of them and not get the creeps. They rarely attack humans though and there is a tribe which still hunts and eats them. It’s an acquired taste…
For more spooky shit found in nature, check out my “Zombies in Nature” post.