Download e-book for kindle: Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding by Bill Schutt

By Bill Schutt

For hundreds of years, blood feeders have inhabited our nightmares and horror tales, in addition to the shadowy nation-states of medical wisdom. In darkish dinner party, 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 profit approximately probably the most reviled, misunderstood, and marvelously developed animals on our planet: vampire bats. only in the near past has truth all started to disentangle itself from fiction referring to those striking animals, and Schutt delves into the myths and misconceptions surrounding them.

Examining the substance that sustains nature's vampires, Schutt finds simply how little we really knew approximately blood until eventually good into the 20 th century. We revisit George Washington on his deathbed to profit how rules approximately blood and the supposedly healing price of bloodletting, first devised via the traditional Egyptians and Greeks, survived into really smooth occasions. Schutt additionally tracks the heritage of medicinal leech use. as soon as hired by means of the thousands and thousands to empty perceived excesses of blood, this day the marketplace for those historical creatures is booming as soon as again--but for terribly diversified 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 inns and well-kept houses close to you. moreover, darkish ceremonial dinner information our risky 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 really weird--vampire finches. And for those who concept 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 savour the weird, darkish ceremonial dinner friends right into a a part of the wildlife to which we're, via our blood, inextricably associated.

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Download e-book for kindle: Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding 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 enjoyable 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 vampire bats, leeches, ticks, mattress insects, and different vampires are as deserving of our interest as hotter and fuzzier species are--and that a lot of them are even ­worthy of conservation.

Additional resources for Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures

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In addition to determining the species of an individual horned lizard, you can also externally ascertain its sex. Typically, the male has a few enlarged, flat scales on the lower side of the tail just behind the vent (pl. 2), whereas the female lacks these enlarged scales (pl. 3). The male also has distinctive INTRODUCTION 15 Plate 4. A very short tail (Bull Horned Lizard [Phrynosoma taurus]). Plate 5. Femoral pores on the underside of the male’s hind leg (Flat-tail Horned Lizard [Phrynosoma mcallii]).

25) temporal horns separate from occipitals ᭿ Temporal horns fused into bull-like horns; ventral scales keeled ᭿ Dark line down back; horns long/sharp; vent without black spots ᭿ White line down back; dark lines on face and head ᭿ Dark bands crossing back; bases of occipital horns not in contact Phrynosoma braconnieri ᭿ Bull* (pl. 31) Phrynosoma taurus ᭿ Flat-tail (pl. 15) Phrynosoma mcallii ᭿ Texas (pl. 7) Phrynosoma cornutum ᭿ Coast (pl. 9) Phrynosoma coronatum ᭿ Strong eye spines; middle ᭿ Giant* (pl.

Southward, it occurs in all the bordering Mexican states and Plate 8. Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) habitat in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. beyond to northern portions of Durango, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosí. In recent years, the species has been extirpated from areas of eastern and central Texas and portions of Oklahoma. This species occurs in a variety of arid and semiarid habitats in open country having scant vegetation (pl. 8). In these habitats, grasses are often present along with scattered cacti, yucca, mesquite, acacia, juniper, or other woody shrubs and small trees.

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