A vampire has finally been caught on camera, although it’s rather more cuddly than you might expect.
And it’s not even definitely a vampire – the mysterious creature filmed for the first time is in fact a tufted ground squirrel, Rheithrosciurus macrotis, which has a surprising yet unconfirmed reputation for bloodthirsty behavior. Check it out in Science Magazine's video:
Legends in the fluffy-tailed rodent’s native Borneo suggest it lies in wait on a low branch until a deer passes underneath, at which point it leaps straight for the poor creature’s jugular vein. Once it’s killed its prey, the squirrel is said to disembowel the deer, consuming its organs but leaving the flesh untouched.
Such vampiric behavior has never been directly observed, however, and the rare squirrel is known to be partial to the nuts of the canarium tree.
One thing that can’t be disputed though is just how fluffy its tail is. Its brush is 130% the mass of its body, the largest known tail-to-body ratio of any mammal. Researchers suspect it could be used to make the animal look bigger and ward off predators. Or could it be used as a mop to hide the evidence of a brutal vampire attack?
[H/T: Popular Science]