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 dinner party, zoologist invoice Schutt takes readers on an enjoyable 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 advanced animals on our planet: vampire bats. only in the near past has truth all started to disentangle itself from fiction referring to those awesome 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 benefit how rules approximately blood and the supposedly healing price of bloodletting, first devised via the traditional Egyptians and Greeks, survived into quite smooth instances. Schutt additionally tracks the heritage of medicinal leech use. as soon as hired by means of the hundreds of thousands to empty perceived excesses of blood, this day the marketplace for those historical creatures is booming as soon as again--but for terribly diverse 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 resorts and well-kept houses close to you. moreover, darkish ceremonial dinner information our risky and occasionally 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 when you inspiration 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 beautiful to our savour the weird, darkish dinner party friends right into a a part of the flora and fauna to which we're, via our blood, inextricably associated.

Show description

Read or Download Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures PDF

Similar nature books

Natural History in the Highlands and Islands (Collins New Naturalist Library, Volume 6)

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are rugged moorland, alpine mountains and jagged coast with awesome normal heritage. This variation is unique to newnaturalists. com

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are rugged moorland, alpine mountains and jagged coast with awesome normal heritage, together with relict and specialized animals and crops. listed below are animals in relatively huge numbers: St. Kilda with its sea-birds, North Rona its seals, Islay its wintering ducks, rivers and lochs with their spawning salmon and trout, the ever present midges! this is often substantial nation with crimson deer, wildcat, pine marten, badger, otter, fox, ermine, golden eagle, osprey, raven, peregrine, gray lag, divers, phalaropes, capercaillie and ptarmigan. Off-shore are killer whales and basking sharks. the following too in huge scale interplay is forestry, sheep farming, recreation, tourism and wild existence conservation.

Wye Valley (Collins New Naturalist Library, Volume 105)

A definitive normal heritage of the Wye Valley masking the geology, geomorphology, conservation and ecological background of this varied region of remarkable common beauty.

The fabulous panorama of the Wye Valley quarter has attracted viewers for over 250 years. special one of many few lowland components of exceptional usual good looks in 1971, it's ruled through the river Wye, which has performed a lot to shape this diverse ecological landscape.

George Peterken (who has lived within the zone for a few years and helped to draft the AONB's Nature Conservation technique in 1999), skillfully examines the varied ecology, usual historical past, panorama and historical past of this district outlined typically via the extreme evolution of the river Wye right into a meandering mature river.

With little formerly released at the sector, Peterken additionally explores the result of fresh conservation efforts within the zone, recognising that regardless of the safety afforded to the --? notable average beauty--™ of common habitats and wild species, those areas have endured to undergo great losses. Peterken is going directly to chart the numerous tasks that proceed to advertise powerful conservation in the AONB and surrounding areas.

Perfect for the enthusiastic naturalist, New Naturalist Wye Valley unlocks the secrets and techniques of this gorgeous traditional sector.

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

As Henry Hudson sailed up the vast river that may sooner or later undergo his identify, he grew involved that his Dutch consumers will be disenchanted in his failure to discover the fabled path to the Orient. What grew to become instantly obvious, besides the fact that, from the Indians clad in deer skins and "good furs" was once that Hudson had chanced on whatever simply as tantalizing.

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

Example text

The inhabitants expected both the marchese and his magistrate to remain above the interests in play. 86 He was subject not only to the instructions of the feudal lord, but also to the Sienese magistracy governing the administration of the rural communities, the Quattro Conservatori. Being a notary by 30 HUMAN NATURE IN RURAL TUSCANY profession, or a career junior magistrate not well versed in jurisprudence, he did not devise the sentences himself but rather recommended them to an appeals judge, the auditore (residing in Siena and working on the marchese’s behalf), who confirmed or modified the sentences as he saw fit after reviewing the trial transcript.

90 Some feudatories profited from abundant common land to graze their own livestock free of gabelles, or instead rented out pasture to other aristocrats to the detriment of the local population. At least in Montefollonico there was no danger of this. The commons was unable to sustain more than a handful of animals. The community’s real common land was already incorporated into six poderi belonging to the confraternity, off limits to the marchese. Having no poderi of his own, no mills, no presses, no physical plant in the jurisdiction belonging to him, the marchese never figured as an economic agent distributing employment or favor.

A village prostitute promised to go to the marchese in order to stop some local youths from harassing her. 132 Like any sovereign, the feudatory could circumvent legal procedure by interrupting (circondare) trial proceedings and quieting disputes himself. Letters suspending trials conclude dozens of cases opened by the commissario. Who knows how many cases were never brought to the latter’s attention? None who was not a Sienese noble appears to have been immune from prosecution by his court, as shown by the sons and heirs of Anacleto Barbieri and Rutilio Carpellini repeatedly getting into trouble.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.56 of 5 – based on 40 votes