Animals that Suck… Blood

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Blood, it’s not just for vampires. Because of blood’s many nutrients and its rampant availability—i.e., it flows through the veins of every living being—plenty of other creatures, like the ones featured in our October Halloween Spooktacular edition of the Bathroom Minutes magazine, feast on it, too.

But if you haven’t had a chance to check out the issue or just wanted to know more, we’ve got you covered—the six bloodsucking critters below are pulled straight from the magazine with added information for your reading pleasure.

Candiru Catfish (Vandellia cirrhosa). The Candiru, unlike many of its bloodsucking brethren, isn’t content to just suck—it wants to invade. As in the bodies of other fish, specifically through their blood-rich gills. These tiny, toothpick-shaped fish don’t stop there, though. Rumor has it that the Candiru has a tendency to ravage humans, too—chasing the scent of pee straight up your privates. Ouch!

Lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis). Like a deranged DustBuster, the parasitic lamprey uses its 12 rows of razor-sharp teeth to drill directly into the bodies of fish so it can suck out their insides. As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, there also have been numerous reports of the eel-like fish raining from the sky in Fairbanks, Alaska—apparently the lamprey have been hitching rides onto land in the beaks of local seagulls.

Cooper’s Nutmeg Snail (Cancellaria cooperii). This snail’s got a favorite food: The Pacific Electric Ray, which it’s attracted to thanks to “come hither” chemicals emanating from the ray’s mucus. And while having your innards sucked out by a long, tubular snout may sound unpleasant, the rays seemingly care less. Better yet, the snail’s are immune to the ray’s one-kilowatt electric shockenough to incapacitate a brave diver.

Hood Mockingbird (Mimus macdonaldi). Don’t have an open wound around a hood mockingbird. It’s known to sip the leaky blood of other seabirds through its long, curved beak. But while they might be resourceful eaters, this mockingbird’s overwhelming curiosity and large ego often pushes them to feed on larger birds like seagulls or the Galapagos hawk—maybe that’s why they’re on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Calyptra Moth (Calyptra thalictri). It might look like a cute butterfly, but for the mammals it feeds on with its long, hose-like mouth, the Calyptra Moth is as mean as a junkyard dog. Using a unique screw-like motion, this moth can wiggle its way through even the toughest skin. And once they’re in, they’re in; their victim’s blood pressure actually causes the moth’s mouth to latch on from the inside like a fishing hook.

Chupacabra (Goat-sucker). Some say it looks like a dog. Others say it resembles more of a lizard-looking alien on two feet. Regardless, the chupacabra has a serious thirst that can only be quenched by draining every drop of blood from the bodies of livestock. But don’t fret, farmers, the chupacabra is just a myth. Or is it?

Disclaimer: If you’re thinking about drinking blood like Nosferatu, think again. Blood contains massive amounts of iron, and while these animals have built-in mechanisms that keep them for ODing on it, humans don’t. Which means drinking even the smallest vial of blood can cause haemochromatosis, a.k.a. iron overload.