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Latest Topic: Seven Vampires that aren't Bats

Biologists have unearthed a variety of organisms that drink blood for food.

1. Vampire flying frogs, found in Vietnam, have a red body and sharp, black fangs. They are more likely to be a cannibal than a vampire.

2. Vampire finches, found in the Galapagos, have extremely sharp beaks that pluck and peck at other birds to draw blood to drink. They will also scavenge for dead baby chicks and unattended eggs.

3. Vampire squirrels live in the forests of Borneo. This nimble tiny predator is vicious. It can take down a muntjak deer with a bite to the jugular causing it to bleed to death so it can consume its heart and liver. (According to local legend.) It actually has the fluffiest squirrel tail in the world.

4. Vampire squid are neither vampire nor squid. The name actually comes from its dark red body and glowing eye spots, which give it a fearsome appearance.

5. Vampire fish (Lamprey) have lots of teeth and attach to other fish with its suction cup like mouth, slurping up blood while swimming along. They are considered an invasive species.

6. Vampire bacteria suck the life out of other bacteria. The microbe latches onto the bacterial cell wall and swallows the host's proteins, nutrients and DNA.

7. Vampire moths, living in Siberia, generally are fruit-eating but occasionally drink blood from cattle and other large mammals, including humans. (TheSmithsonian.com)

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Dr. Dorothy Brinker and Dr. Sarah Goodman
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