Wednesday, October 26, 2011

EL CHUPACABRAS

The chupacabras is a Very Scary Creature!  Its name means goat sucker in English, and it got that name because it likes to suck all the blood out of its victims.  Ooooh!  Are you getting scared yet?











The first place that people started seeing this spooky animal was in Puerto Rico, in 1995, and since then it's been seen in lots of other parts of the world, including even Russia and the Philippines.  People who got a glimpse of it said that it had leathery skin, like a reptile, with sharp spines or quills on its back.  It was 3 or 4 feet high and it had a face like a dog or a panther, with a forked tongue and large fangs.  People said it would hiss and screech when it was alarmed, and its eyes glowed red.  And besides that, it smelled really bad, like sulphur.





When the chupacabras first appeared in Puerto Rico, it killed 8 sheep and then drained out all their blood through puncture wounds in their chests.  Later that year, lots of other farm animals and pets were found dead with their blood also sucked out.  At first people thought this was the work of some weird Satanic cult, but later they decided it had been done by a vicious animal.







Soon people in other countries in Central and South America, plus the U.S., started having their livestock killed by a strange creature.  In many cases, this killer was described as hairless and doglike.  In Texas in 2004, several of these creatures were shot, trapped, or found dead.  In each case, the chupacabras turned out to be a coyote with a really bad case of mange that caused it to lose all its hair.






In August of 2007, a woman found three strange-looking dead animals on her property.  This was after more than 30 of her chickens had been killed and exsanguinated over the years.  (Do you like this nice, big word that I just learned, exsanguinated?  It means to have all the blood drained out you.)  Anyway, this woman took photos of the weird animals and saved one head in her freezer to give to the State Mammologist for study.  The mammologist thought at first that the animal was a gray fox with mange, but then DNA showed that it was really a coyote.  But this coyote wasn't like normal coyotes because its skin was grayish-blue, and it had really large fangs.

Later, a taxidermist who was asked to mount an animal that was supposedly a chupacabras said that he thought it was a coyote with strange mutations and also a bad case of mange.


About a year ago, in October 2010, a biologist at the University of Michigan, whose name is Barry O'Connor, said he thought that all chupacabras were actually coyotes that had sarcoptic mange.  This would explain why they have very little fur, leathery skin, and why they smell bad.  Mr. O'Connor also said that a coyote with a bad case of mange wouldn't feel like hunting rabbits or deer, so that's why it would prey on livestock.



Anyway, what this means is that the chupacabras isn't real.  Instead it's what you call a "legendary cryptid."  The word cryptid come from the Greek word krypto, which means "hide."  A cryptid is a creature or plant that there seems to be some evidence that it exists, but scientists are pretty sure that it doesn't.  Other examples of cryptids besides chupacabras are Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster.

Of course, if you want to believe in the chupacabras, you are free to do that, but I choose to think that it's really a coyote with mange.  I would like to believe that a coyote would be less likely to kill me and exsanguinate me than a chupacabras would, but I could be wrong about that.  So just to be on the safe side, I think I will mostly stay inside after dark.



But here's an idea, if you are looking for a Halloween costume:  you can dress up as chupacabras!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Piper, you really had Dodi and I scared!! Mom read today's blog to us, but she read it in a really weird voice, which only added to our being scared even more. I'm glad the EL CHUPACABRAS aren't real. Mom felt sorry for the coyote(s) with mange, but Dodi & I think we would be scared of any coyote! Mom said this was a good pre-Halloween blog!
    Love, Di
    P.S. oops, forgot to tell you that we really like your new colors, Fall colors, for your blog.

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  2. Dear Di,
    I think I would be afraid of a coyote, too, whether it had hair or not! Coyotes like to eat cats and little dogs, so we are smart to stay away from them. But anyway, I am glad the chupacabras probably is just a mangy coyote. Some of those pictures look pretty scary!
    Love, Piper

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