For centuries, blood feeders have inhabited our nightmares and horror stories, as well as the most shadowy realm of our scientific knowledge. In Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures, Dr. Bill Schutt, an authority on vampire bats, takes the reader on a dark but entertaining voyage into the world of some of its strangest creatures – the sanguivores.
In mapping out the world of blood- feeding creatures, Schutt focuses on their natural history and behavior – especially their unique feeding habits. The author visits rivers in South America, where the candiru (or vampire catfish) is more feared then the legendary piranha, and suburban habitats where mosquitoes, fleas, and the diseases they transmit, have changed the course of human civilization. From leeches- ancient invertebrates now helping surgeons to save newly transplanted limbs, to ticks and the controversy over the existence of chronic Lyme disease, Schutt provides fascinating details on the lives of these bizarre creatures and their relationships with humans.