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October 30, 2007

Z - The Zompire Bat

by sven at 8:00 am

Reprinted with permission from Professor Ichbonnsen's Monster Month blog.

[click to enlarge]

The Zompire Bat is a large South American carnivore related to the Vampire Bat. It stands about five feet tall and is found primarily in Argentina.

The bat's wingspan is approximately 20 feet -- however, it is too heavy to actually fly. It uses its wings instead to corral and capture prey, wrapping them in a deadly embrace.

The creature kills and eats large game: cattle, wild pigs -- and humans who are unwary. It is extremely messy, rending flesh, mangling the bodies of its victims... It actually only drinks their blood; the purpose of this behavior seems to be simply to create a good flow.

Zompire bats have very poor eyesight and are uncoordinated moving on the ground -- stumbling and dragging themselves about. When they hunt, they depend upon the element of surprise.

The bat digs a shallow hole and covers itself with dirt. When it senses that prey is near, it bursts from the ground -- imparting a sort of "dead rising from the grave" appearance. The wings trap its food, its powerful jaws clamp down, and the bat thrashes its head until blood is gushing everywhere.

Like other bats, Zompires use echolocation. However, whereas most species use high or even ultrasonic pitches, this creature uses subsonics (much as crocodiles do). The system only works effectively underground -- where perception extends in a 2 mile radius. Above ground, the portion of the call that is audible to humans sounds like hideous groaning and moaning.

Newborn bats are birthed directly into holes, where they are left to mature for several months. The bats seem most comfortable underground, and spend most of their lives hidden there. Wrapped in its own wings, a Zompire Bat looks quite like a large black seed pod or coffin.

It should be noted that the safest time to study the Zompire Bat is when it is hibernating during the winter months. It can be exhumed and examined for a brief period -- but under no circumstances should it be allowed to warm up. Dire consequences follow.

posted by sven | October 30, 2007 8:00 AM | categories: bestiary