Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding by Bill Schutt

By Bill Schutt

"A witty, scientifically exact, and infrequently 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 clinical wisdom. In Dark Banquet, zoologist invoice Schutt takes us on a desirable 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 blood feeders, from bats to bedbugs, are as deserving of our interest as hotter and fuzzier species are–and that a lot of them are even valuable of conservation.

Enlightening and alarming, Dark Banquet friends right into a a part of the flora and fauna to which we're, via our blood, inextricably linked.

"Dark Banquet is an awesome account of all these creatures that the majority people think of quite creepy! yet writer invoice Schutt doesn’t, and really embraces those critters and their bloodthirsty existence. It’s nice to determine such extraordinary animal study in a reader-friendly shape. After completing the ebook, 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 security of bloodsuckers from the leech to the candiru."
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Additional resources for Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures

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It must have been learned since the arrival of the Europeans and their domesticated fowl. Were vampire bat mothers teaching this behavior to their young? So enthralled was I at this wonderfully diabolical maneuver (and its implications) that I never noticed that the second vampire had disappeared under the hoodwinked hen’s tail feathers—never noticed until several minutes later when a thin trickle appeared on the floor behind the bird. Through the gloom of the darkened enclosure I could see a small puddle forming and I remember that it glistened like red tinsel.

Here are the blood feeders—their stories, their strange feeding habits, and the often-devastating effects they can have on the humans they count as food. This might get a little rough, so grab a glass of red wine and let’s get started…. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked liked huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going around a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas.

Yes, but with a protective coating of bat shit,” I added, trying to cheer her up. ” Wallerfield, in north-central Trinidad, had been a center for American military operations in the southern Atlantic during World War II. The land on which it had been built became part of the same Lend-Lease program that had brought Churchill’s shell-shocked government fifty outdated American destroyers. Once, it had been the largest and busiest air base in the world, but the English were long gone, as were the Yanks (most of them anyway), and now Wallerfield was an overgrown ruin.

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