These creatures all exist in our world today and are every bit as fantastical as our imaginations.
9 Real Halloween Monsters!
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9MONSTERS REAL HALLOWEEN
THE VAMPIRE 1 ACTUALLY IT’S… ACTUALLY IT’S… THE VAMPIRE SQUID scientific name vampyroteuthis infernalis
1 THE VAMPIRE THINGS TO KNOW • The vampire is an ancient species and is a phylogenic relic meaning that it is the only surviving member of the order Vampyromorphida. • One of the most unique behaviors of the Vampire Squid is that they seem to be flying through the water. • Such movements are the result of how they flap their fins to move around, kind of like Dracula.
THE ALIEN 2 ACTUALLY IT’S… ACTUALLY IT’S… THE PACIFIC BARREL EYE scientific name macropinna microstoma
2 THE ALIEN THINGS TO KNOW • The Pacific Barreleye has a see through head. Its eyes are tubular and point forward, with the ability to rotate upwards, which gives it amazing binocular vision. ? • When prey is spotted, the Barreleye moves in the exact same direction as its line of sight to catch them. Its flat fins help it swim very precisely. ? • This method is so efficient that it is sometimes able to snatch food away from other deep sea creatures. Its transparent shield renders it immune to stings.
THE GHOST 3 ACTUALLY IT’S… ACTUALLY IT’S… ACTUALLY IT’S… THE WARTY COMB JELLY scientific name mnemiopsis leidyi scientific name
3 THE GHOST THINGS TO KNOW • Comb jellies are beautiful, oval-shaped animals with eight rows of tiny comblike plates that they beat to move themselves through the water. As they swim, the comb rows diffract light to produce a shimmering, rainbow effect. ? • Comb jellies will eat other comb jellies larger than themselves by biting off chunks with special cilia structures in their mouths. ? • The jellies have exceptional regenerative powers, capable of repairing up to 50 percent of their bodies.
THE FAIRY 4 ACTUALLY IT’S… ACTUALLY IT’S… THE GLOW WORM ACTUALLY IT’S… scientific name arachnocampa luminosa scientific name
4 THE FAIRY THINGS TO KNOW • When the Waitomo Glowworm Caves were first explored in 1887, the first discovery was the Glowworm Grotto with its myriad of tiny bright lights emitted by the glow worms dotting the cave ceiling, reflecting off the water below. ? • Glowworms can survive only in very damp, dark places where their light can be seen. They need a ceiling that is fairly much horizontal from which they can hang their sticky feeding lines, and a sheltered place where wind does not dry them out or tangle their lines.
THE CHUPACABRA 5 ACTUALLY IT’S… THE AYE AYE scientific name daubentonia madagascariensis
5 THE CHUPACABRA THINGS TO KNOW ? • Many people native to Madagascar consider the aye-aye an omen of ill luck. ? • For this reason they were often killed on sight. Such hunting, coupled with habitat destruction, have made the aye- aye critically endangered. Today they are protected by law. ? • While perched aloft, the aye-aye taps on trees with its long middle finger and listens for wood-boring insect larvae moving under the bark.
THE MERMAID 6 ACTUALLY IT’S… THE MANATEE scientific name trichechus
THE MERMAID 6 THINGS TO KNOW • Christopher Columbus and other early explorers claimed to have seen female figures swimming in the ocean—the mermaids in the writings and drawings of this era. Whether they had been at sea for too long or it was a trick of the light, we now know that many of these encounters were with manatees. ? • The manatee belongs in the order Sirenia, the Greek name for this order is derived from the sirens of Greek mythology. Sirens were sea nymphs who lured sailors to their island with their mesmerizing songs.
THE ZOMBIE 7 ACTUALLY IT’S… THE FLATWORM PARASITE scientific name leucochloridium paradoxum
7 THE ZOMBIE THINGS TO KNOW • This parasitic worm invades a snail’s eyestalks, where it pulsates to imitate a caterpillar. ? • The worm larva changes into a sporocyst and mind-controls its host out into the open for hungry birds to pluck out its eyes. Healthy snails seek darkness to hide from predators, but the zombie snail will climb into sunlight. ? • The worm breeds in the bird’s guts, releasing its eggs in the bird’s feces, which are happily eaten up by another snail to complete the whole bizarre life cycle.
THE DEMON 8 ACTUALLY IT’S… THE ANGLER FISH scientific name lophiiformes
8 THE DEMON THINGS TO KNOW • The Angler Fish lives in the one of the Earth’s most inhospitable habitats, the lightless bottom of the sea. ? • Their most distinctive feature, worn only by females, is a piece of dorsal spine that protrudes above their mouths like a fishing pole—hence their name. Tipped with a lure of luminous flesh this built-in rod baits prey close enough to be snatched. ? • Their mouths are so big and their bodies so pliable, they can actually swallow prey up to twice their own size.
THE WEREWOLF 9 ACTUALLY IT’S… THE LYKOI CAT scientific name felis silvestris catus
9 THE WEREWOLF THINGS TO KNOW • The Lykoi Cat is a natural mutation from a domestic shorthair cat and resembles a werewolf. It is a partially or almost entirely hairless depending on the moulting season. ? • These cats have temperaments like hunting dogs. They are extremely loyal to their owners, scent motivated, and very intelligent.
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