image credit: tonmo.com Habitat: temperate and tropical oceans
It’s no surprise that our first Vampire comes from the deep ocean, there’s always such crazy animals lurking down there! The Vampire Squid is an incredibly fascinating cephalopod for a number of its abilities. First, like many other deep sea creatures, the Vampire Squid produces its own source of light, called bioluminescence, at the tips of its cloak-encased tentacles which it uses to confuse predators by waving its arms wildly. Next, if it feels threatened the Vampire Squid changes into “pumpkin” or “pineapple posture” where it inverts its caped arms back over the body, presenting a larger form covered in fearsome-looking though harmless spines.
Here’s a clip from BBC showcasing the Vampire Squid’s odd behaviors:
This demonic little bird is a subspecies of the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch. The Vampire Finch prefers to dine on the blood of other birds, though primarily the Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies. It gets its food by pecking at their skin with the finch’s sharp beak until blood is drawn.
Here’s a clip of the Boobies getting seriously annoyed:
image credit: zevs.net
image credit: animal.discovery.com Habitat: Rivers of Venezuela
While the Vampire Piranha, or Payara, is a close relative of the common piranha it definitely doesn’t treat its family the way it should. One of the main sources of food for the Payara are indeed piranhas. Payaras will impale the piranhas using their two long fangs on their lower jaw which grow to be 4 to 6 inches long!
image credit: pollsb.com
image credit: scienceblogs.com Habitat: Siberia
As recently as 2008, a previously unknown species of moth was discovered: the Vampire Moth. These insects have evolved from a purely fruit-eating species into something much scarier. There had been a population of moths behaving similarly to these in Russia in 2006 and tests are still underway to see if they are related species.
Here’s a National Geographic news report on the topic:
Ah yes, the Vampire Bat. The original animal Vamp. These guys have been in the news recently after they infected over 500 people with rabies after they went on a feeding-frenzy. But Vampire Bats don’t actually “suck” the victim’s blood, they lap it up from the site of the wound. In order to get that perfect bite, the Vampire Bat will use its canine and cheek teeth like barber’s blades by shaving away any hair that’s in the way. Then, with its upper incisor teeth a 7mm long and 8mm deep cut is made which they happily drink from. The bats’ saliva is also an important tool in the bat’s feeding kit; their saliva contains a substance, called draculin (ironic), which prevents the prey’s blood from clotting. I mean, what if you want seconds, right?
I must admit though, those baby vampire bats don’t look so dangerous to me!
I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).