In the words of Family Guy, “damn nature, you scary!”
But also really fucking cool.
Because you know vampires, those cruxes of mythology and interest that we all wish were real (though not in the Twilight way – if you say the word “sparkle” to me in any other context than a flamboyantly gay Parasole Protectorate Lord Akeldama kind of reference, then I will… I don’t know, mentally punch you in the throat or something. What? I said nature was scary, not me…)
Aaaanyhoo. Like I was saying. Vampires. Super cool! Unfortunately not real. Unless you look outside the anthropoid box…
1. Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis)
Reaching as long as 8 cm, the “tusks” on these animals clearly indicate that they’re vampires. I mean, so what that they really only use their fangs during mating season when males apparently feel the need to gore each other’s faces in order to claim the female? They. have. fangs. (Side note: having just discovered this animal’s existence may have been what spurred this blog post… maaaaybe…)
2. Vampire Finch (Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis)
One of the infamous “Darwin’s finches” (which, by the way, have actually been more extensively studied by the Grant family than by Darwin, who really didn’t think they were all that important and largely ignored them to geek out over pigeons), this Galapagos-residing bird pecks at the skin of blue-footed boobies (these guys) until they bleed. It then proceeds to drink the blood. Such a pleasant friend to have, don’t ya think?
3. Lamprey (Order: Petromyzontiformes)
Smile! As parasitic adults, these wonderful rays of sunshine use their Teeth of Nightmares to gnash their way through a target organism’s body until the lamprey reaches its blood and body fluid, which the lamprey will proceed to suck out of it until the organism eventually dies. Don’t worry – lampreys aren’t big on human flavor and won’t usually attack a human unless they’re really fucking hungry. But I mean, hopefully you’d notice if something were trying to tunnel its way to your intestines and flail about in terror quickly enough that you wouldn’t have any lasting damage. Besides the lifetime trauma and therapy bills, that is.
4. Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus, Diphylla ecaudata, and Diaemus youngi)
Yup, that’s right, there are three species that garner the term “vampire bat” through their hematophagy. These bats use an ability called “thermoception” (that’s right, that is a real thing, I’m not just making it up) to find warm spots on its prey’s skin where there will most likely be more blood to SPILL EVERYWHERE after it bites down and proceeds to lap up the puddle of blood it releases.
So, who’s hungry?
5. Butterflies (Order: Lepidoptera)
I know, I know, it’s just a butterfly, right? But LOOK AT THAT PROBOSCIS. Or “haustellum,” as it’s also called. Sure, it’s only used for sucking up nectary moisture stuffs from flowers and whatnot, but as a kid, the first time I saw a blown-up image of that thing on the movie screen of the St. Louis Butterfly House, I was legit afraid of the butterflies that landed on me for like a whole day. Not funny, butterflies. Not funny.
6. Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)
Okay, so the vampire squid doesn’t actually drink blood or anything like that. It got its name from cool-lookin’ “cloak” and weird eyes, which in and of themselves are pretty shiver-worthy. But then this animal gets even cooler, sporting spines on the oral surface of its webbing called “cirri” AND IT HAS PHOTOPHORES. AND PHOTORECEPTORS. So yeah. Basically it’s a camera-flash-producing-vampire-finesse-esque-haunting-eyed mega-squid. I would definitely have it over for tea. If it were into that kind of thing.
7. Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
Yeah, I’m just gonna copy-paste the bit from the Wikipedia page about how this guy “ is characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding.” They also have mega-canines, in case you somehow didn’t notice. Also they accidentally give themselves cancer when they mate.
And like to lay in the sun I mean would never stoop to so unferocious act as napping. And they’re endangered. Something about having ingested human-manufactured flame retardant chemicals and human-caused habitat disruption… Oops.
(Shhh. Don’t tell them they’re cute. It’ll spoil them.)