By Bill Schutt
"A witty, scientifically exact, and sometimes intensely creepy exploration of sanguivorous creatures."
—San Francisco Chronicle
For centuries, blood feeders have inhabited our nightmares and horror tales, in addition to the shadowy nation-states of medical wisdom. In Dark Banquet, zoologist invoice Schutt takes us on a desirable voyage into the area of a few of nature’s strangest creatures–the sanguivores. utilizing a pointy eye and mordant wit, Schutt makes a remarkably persuasive case that blood feeders, from bats to bedbugs, are as deserving of our interest as hotter and fuzzier species are–and that lots of them are even priceless of conservation.
Enlightening and alarming, Dark Banquet friends right into a a part of the wildlife to which we're, via our blood, inextricably linked.
"Dark Banquet is an awesome account of all these creatures that the majority people examine relatively creepy! yet writer invoice Schutt doesn’t, and really embraces those critters and their bloodthirsty existence. It’s nice to work out such fabulous animal examine in a reader-friendly shape. After completing the booklet, you’ll have much to debate at your subsequent dinner party!"
—Jack Hanna, director emeritus, Columbus Zoo, and host of television’s Emmy Award—winning sequence Into the Wild
"[A] passionate safeguard of bloodsuckers from the leech to the candiru."
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Extra resources for Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
This charnel house ambience tends to put off most people, especially those unfortunate enough to awaken in a pool of their own blood. Jumbo and I finished up and were invited back to the Boris residence for some refreshment: warm glasses of the local rum. Twilight is fleeting in the tropics and now, twenty minutes after setting up our mist nets in bright sunshine, it was dark enough that we could no longer see our tree from where we sat under a sheet metal awning. I asked Mr. Boris if vampires had ever bitten their pigs or their milk cow, but he shook his head.
During such behavior, protovampires may have obtained their first taste of blood from the very same tick and bed bug species that commonly parasitize modern vampire bats (and, indeed, most bats). Bat biologist Brock Fenton suggested that the small size of ectoparasites, combined with the difficulty of locating them on another animal, made the ectoparasite hypothesis improbable. He was also troubled by the fact that ectoparasites have a worldwide distribution, yet vampire bats are restricted to three New World species.
Crawling across the floor of their feeding enclosure like a pair of spiders, the vampires made what I thought was a bold approach to a rather large hen. The bird cocked her head to one side, eyeing the bats. Her beak could have severely injured or even killed them—and I got ready to intervene. One of the vampires stopped a couple of inches beyond pecking distance but the other crept even closer. Then, amazingly, the bat nuzzled against the hen’s feathery breast. Instead of becoming alarmed, the bird seemed to relax a bit.
Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures by Bill Schutt