By Bill Schutt
For hundreds of years, blood feeders have inhabited our nightmares and horror tales, in addition to the shadowy geographical regions of medical wisdom. In darkish ceremonial dinner, zoologist invoice Schutt takes readers on an interesting voyage into the realm of a few of nature's strangest creatures--the sanguivores. utilizing a pointy eye and mordant wit, Schutt makes a remarkably persuasive case that vampire bats, leeches, ticks, mattress insects, and different vampires are as deserving of our interest as hotter and fuzzier species are--and that lots of them are even worthy of conservation.
Schutt takes us from rural Trinidad to the jungles of Brazil to benefit approximately the most reviled, misunderstood, and marvelously developed animals on our planet: vampire bats. only in the near past has truth began to disentangle itself from fiction touching on those amazing animals, and Schutt delves into the myths and misconceptions surrounding them.
Examining the substance that sustains nature's vampires, Schutt unearths simply how little we really knew approximately blood till good into the 20 th century. We revisit George Washington on his deathbed to benefit how rules approximately blood and the supposedly healing price of bloodletting, first devised through the traditional Egyptians and Greeks, survived into quite glossy instances. Schutt additionally tracks the background of medicinal leech use. as soon as hired by way of the hundreds of thousands to empty perceived excesses of blood, at the present time the marketplace for those historic creatures is booming as soon as again--but for extraordinarily various reasons.
Among the opposite blood feeders we meet in those pages are mattress insects, or "ninja insects," that are creating a creepy resurgence in posh motels and well-kept houses close to you. moreover, darkish dinner party information our harmful and infrequently lethal encounters with ticks, chiggers, and mites (the latter implicated in Colony cave in Disorder--currently devastating honey bees worldwide). Then there are the actually weird--vampire finches. And in the event you notion piranha have been frightening, a few humans think that the candiru (or willy fish) is the simplest cause to prevent swimming within the Amazon.
Enlightening, alarming, and attractive to our take pleasure in the unusual, darkish dinner party friends right into a a part of the flora and fauna to which we're, via our blood, inextricably associated.