Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Real Life Vampires Don’t Wait For Halloween To Be Blood-Thirsty

29.10.2009
Who is your favorite vampire? Do you swoon over Edward Cullen and Bill Compton, or are classic bloodsuckers like Count Dracula and Lestat de Lioncourt more your style?

As fun as it is to obsess over and be scared by these fictional vampires, the real things are much more fascinating. Here is some blood-curdling information from National Wildlife Federation on living, breathing vampires that might just be stalking you.

Vampire Bats
Meet Desmodus rotundus and his cousins Diphylla ecaudata and Diaemus youngi, known respectively as the common, hairy-legged and white-winged vampire bats. Found only in the Americas, their collective range goes from Mexico down through Argentina. These bats feed exclusively on the blood of other animals. The common vampire bat typically goes for mammals, including domestic cows and horses, while the other two species prefer to feed upon birds—although the occasional human does make it on the menu. Thankfully, the bite of one of these bats won’t turn you into a vampire although the wounds can become infected.
Mosquitoes
For mosquitoes, it’s the ladies who are the bloodsuckers. Both sexes feed on flower nectar as their main source of nutrients. Only when she’s ready to reproduce does the female mosquito seek out a blood meal. She needs the added protein boost in order to lay her eggs and create a whole new generation of lady vampires.
Lampreys
These eel-like creatures are something right out of science fiction horror. Their disc-shaped mouths are filled with circles of razor-sharp teeth, which they use to bore into the flesh of their victims. They can remain attached for days or even weeks, all the while sucking in blood and body fluids. One species, the sea lamprey, has been introduced into the Great Lakes where it has become a problematic invasive exotic species. This lamprey can grow to almost 2 feet in length and the native lake fish it feeds upon often don’t survive the draining.
Bed Bugs
The goodnight rhyme “nite nite, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” takes on macabre twist when you learn that in the last few years, these little vampires are on the rise. Nearly eradicated in the North America for 50 years, bed bugs are back with a blood-sucking vengeance, showing up everywhere from high-end hotels to college dorms to rural bedrooms. After their victims fall asleep, bed bugs emerge from their hiding places in cracks and crevices and insert their sucking mouthparts in a series of bites along the blood vessels, drinking as they go and leaving as series of red, itchy welts.
Oxpeckers and Vampire Finches
There are several bird species that form symbiotic relationships with larger animals. The larger animals tolerate the birds’ presence on their bodies, leaving the birds free to feast upon ticks and other parasites that are lodged in the skin feeding upon the animals’ blood. It’s a win-win situation. But oxpeckers are birds that take it one step further. Not only do they feed upon invertebrate parasites, they are happy to consume bits of flesh and blood of their host animals while they’re at it. Vampire finches inhabit the Galapagos Islands and supplement their diet of seeds, insects and nectar with the blood of other birds, usually the blue-footed booby. They peck a hole in the flesh of the booby to get the larger bird’s blood and strangely, the boobies hardly seem to notice.
Leeches
Few animals evoke the “icky-creepies” in people as much as worms do with their slimy squirminess and their faceless, legless bodies. When such a creature also feeds upon human blood, it only adds to the horror factor. Such is the case with leeches. These parasitic worms attach themselves to their host and bloat themselves on blood. While most leeches are external parasites, some species will swim into nasal cavities and stay there, feeding and growing. Capable of holding undigested blood in their stomachs, parasitic leeches can go months between feedings.
Candiru Catfish
There are several species of diminutive candiru catfish that inhabit South American rivers. Some seek out larger fish and use their spiny mouths to attach themselves to the gills of their victims, where they makes an incision with their teeth and drink their fill of fish blood. Some species actually burrow inside the bodies of their prey, leaving a wound that looks like a bullet hole. Once inside they suck blood from the internal organs. This is the fish that gained international fame recently when one swam up a man’s penis, where it fed for several days before having to be surgically removed. Few things are more horrifying than even the thought of that!

Even scary wildlife isn’t safe from habitat destruction, global warming, pollution and other human-caused problems. Read more about real life wildlife vampires and NWF at www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife.

David Mizejewski | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife
http://www.nwf.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>