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Dark Banquet Dark Banquet : Blood and the…

Dark Banquet Dark Banquet : Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding… (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Bill Schutt

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1949107,662 (3.85)19
A witty and informative look inside the world of animals that feed on blood examines the ecological roles and life cycles of the vampire bat, leeches, ticks, mites, bedbugs, and a feared vampire fish known as the candiru.
Title:Dark Banquet Dark Banquet : Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures
Authors:Bill Schutt
Info:[distributor] Random House, 2008.
Collections:Your library

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Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures by Bill Schutt (2008)


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A fascinatingly detailed description of all known obligate sanguivores written with wit and a puckish humour. If the thought of bedbugs, vampire bats, and blood sucking leeches gives you the willies, then this book is not for you. Patricia J. Wynne’s exquisite drawings made even the vampire bats look charming. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Apr 14, 2017 |
What a fun, albeit squirm-inducing book. The chapters about bats were easier to read than the chapter about bedbugs. *shudder* Schutt is genuinely funny and irreverent. The book is a delight, if you like this sort of thing. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Vampire bats and other blood sucking animals are the main characters showcased. Instead of examining all creatures that feed on blood, the focus is on a few including vampire bats, leeches, chiggers/ticks, beg bugs and even medical blood letting. As I read, it became obvious that the author has a passion for vampire bats. I found that this section was the one I enjoyed the most and was the most in depth. I wish that the author would write a book primarily based on these fascinating bats. Family stories are peppered throughout the text. These stories are not necessarily related to the subject at hand. I found them to be amusing but some may find them distracting. There are a few sections that were written at a very technical level, such as explaining what elements serve as the building blocks of blood. I became very confused with all the vocabulary tossed about like granulocyte without mentioning which type of blood cell was granulocyte. Overall, this book is an amusing read for someone who is interested in the above mentioned animals but if you want a book that covers a more variety of animals then this may not be the book for you. ( )
  corcra | Feb 10, 2012 |
This was a very quick and interesting read on sanguivorous (blood-eating) animals. He concentrates a lot on vampire bats (his research area), but does a lot of good research on ticks, mites, bed bugs, vampire finches, and the candiru. If you have a scientific bent and a bit of a dark sense of humor, then this one's for you.

http://lifelongdewey.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/591-dark-banquet-by-bill-schutt/ ( )
  NielsenGW | Feb 5, 2012 |
Oh, finally, a vampire book worth reading! When was the last time a worthy vampire book was published? I certainly can't remember, but here is one, finally! The best part about Dark Banquet is that it's far creepier than any other vampire book you can find, because the blood feeders in this book are real!

Bill Schutt is a bat biologist and seems to have a particular fondness for the vampiric variety. His enthusiasm is apparent from the beginning, when he retells his experiences in Trinidad observing bats in their natural environment (like abandoned military buildings). His book is very readable, and is intended as a casual book for the curious, but that doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of information here, and not only about bats either. Leeches, chigger mites, and ticks make an appearance as well, along with a few other sanguivorous delights in case that wasn't enough for you. Aside from a brief dip into molecular biology about the inner workings of the circulatory system, which only amounts to about 15-20 pages and can be skimmed if the reader chooses, all of it is very readable and accessible.

Ultimately, and as you might expect, the book stresses the importance of these creatures. While they have been stigmatized because of their penchant for consuming blood, in the end you will find they are not as scary as you might have thought, and you may very well find yourself defending them. They have led to very important scientific discoveries (like blood thinners to help with blood clots) and while it is important to remember they can be vectors for dangerous and deadly diseases, all-out eradication of these important pieces of nature is rarely the right course of action, regardless of how 'creepy' you might think they are. ( )
3 vote Ape | Aug 3, 2011 |
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I know our late King, though not apt to believe more than his neighbors, had no doubt of the existence of vampires and their banquets on the dead. - Horace Walpole, commenting in a letter on the beliefs of King George II
The blood is the life - Deuteronomy 12:23
For Marie Grace Schutt and William A. Schutt Sr.

... and all my Aunt Roses
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A pair of chickens scratched nervously at the dusty ground beneath the grapefruit tree, careful to avoid the small puddles of coagulated blood.
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A witty and informative look inside the world of animals that feed on blood examines the ecological roles and life cycles of the vampire bat, leeches, ticks, mites, bedbugs, and a feared vampire fish known as the candiru.

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