Monday, October 20, 2008

Hematophagy


A delightful piece by Natalie Angier in the Science Times on some of the creatures hymned in Bill Schutt's Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, which I am Amazoning at once:
Among his rubied rabble are vampire bats tuned to extract blood from large slumbering mammals and bats that aim instead for the warm breast plates of birds; New World leeches that track their hosts through the water and Old World leeches that relentlessly stalk down blood bearers on land; the notorious vampire finches of the Gal├ípagos that daintily peck open dribbling wounds on the hindquarters of blue-footed boobies; and the candiru, tiny, eel-like catfish that are reputed to have the power to swim up a person’s urethra and suck blood from the bladder and thus are often more feared than their fellow river dwellers, the piranhas.

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