The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the strangest creatures on earth. Imagine a cute fluffy little finch … that wants to suck blood!
Does the Galapagos Vampire Finch Want to Suck Your Blood?
The finches have not yet evolved a taste for human blood, but the vampire finch, also known as the sharp-beaked ground finch – is known to drink the blood of Nazca and blue-footed boobies. The finches are native to Wolf Island – one of the pristine islands in the far north of the Galapagos Archipelago.
Tourists are allowed to SCUBA dive around the island, but only scientists are allowed to land. This is to protect the island from invasive species that visitors might accidentally carry with them….Or is it for your own protection?
They don’t have fangs – or at least they haven’t evolved fangs yet. The vampire finch lands on the back of one of the larger seabirds and pecks repeatedly at the base of its feathers with its sharp beak until it draws blood and then drinks from the wound.
Freaky Egg-Stealing Behavior
They are known to steal eggs from nests – rolling the eggs away, and then pecking at it violently. In 1983 scientists documented:
When the egg eventually rolls over, spilling the rest of its contents on the ground, we see two or three finches in what could well be called a feeding frenzy, viciously fighting over the tiny embryo which they drag out of the egg, ripping it to pieces on the spot. – Friedemann Koster, Heide Koster*
Does this sounds scary to you? Let’s see how the Galapagos Vampire Finch compares to Dracula:
Vampire Finch vs. Dracula
Clearly, the vampire finch gets extra points for its tolerance to silver and the bright Galapagos sun, which would turn Dracula into a pile of ashes in an instant, but it lacks the hypnosis powers and the immortality of our Transylvanian friend.
Who do you think is scarier? Let us know in comments?
*Excerpt from Twelve Days among the “vampire finches” of Wolf Island