Skip to comments.CHUPACABRA MYSTERY SOLVED
Posted on 10/26/2010 6:45:09 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Chupacabra Mystery Solved
By Jennifer Viegas
Halloween stories about the ghostly "chupacabra" circulate every year, but now scientists have solved the mystery surrounding this legendary animal.
Instead of being vicious, fanged creatures that supposedly drink the blood of livestock, chupacabras turn out to be wild dogs inflicted with a deadly form of mange, according to University of Michigan biologist Barry OConnor.
(Scientists believe legendary chupacabras monsters are actually coyotes with severe cases of mange, like the animal pictured here. Credit: Dan Pence)
The myth about chupacabras, also known as goatsuckers, started after reports of livestock attacks in Puerto Rico and Mexico, where dead sheep were discovered with puncture wounds, completely drained of blood. Similar reports began accumulating from other locations in Latin America and the U.S. Then came sightings of evil-looking animals, variously described as dog-like, rodent-like or reptile-like, with long snouts, large fangs, leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and a nasty odor. Locals put two and two together and assumed the ugly varmints were responsible for the killings.
OConnor, however, and other scientists conclude that an 8-legged mite that burrows under the skin of coyotes can give these animals the "chupacabra" look.
He explains that the mite responsible for the extreme hair loss seen in "chupacabras syndrome" is Sarcoptes scabiei, which also causes the itchy rash known as scabies in people. Human scabies is an annoyance, but not usually a serious health or appearance problem, partly because our bodies are already virtually hairless and partly because the population of mites on a given person usually is relatively small---only 20 or 30 mites.
Humans have likely evolved natural defenses for this mite over the years. When we began to domesticate dogs, we likely spread the mites to them. When the mites then transfer to wild dogs, such as foxes, wolves and coyotes, the victims appear to be less able to fight them off.
"Whenever you have a new host-parasite association, it's pretty nasty," said OConnor, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a curator in the U-M Museum of Zoology. "It does a lot of damage, and mortality can be relatively high because that host species has not had any evolutionary history with the parasite, so it has not been able to evolve any defenses like we have."
In these unfortunate animals, large numbers of mites burrowing under the skin cause inflammation, which results in thickening of the skin. Blood supply to hair follicles is cut off, so the fur falls out. In especially bad cases, the animal's weakened condition opens the door to bacteria that cause secondary skin infections, sometimes producing a foul odor. Put it all together, and you've got an ugly, naked, leathery, smelly monstrosity: the chupacabras.
But what then explains the "goatsucker" livestock attacks?
"Because these animals are greatly weakened, they're going to have a hard time hunting," OConnor said. "So they may be forced into attacking livestock because it's easier than running down a rabbit or a deer."
Wild dogs aren't the only ones to suffer from deadly mites. Mite-infected squirrels often become roadkill because they are weak and less able to scurry away from cars. In Australia, the "chupacabra" mite is killing off wombats.
"(Wombats) presumably got the mites from dingoes, which got them from domestic dogs, which got them from us," he explained.
Already posted here
“Monster Quest” ping! lol
Response: Chupacabra is Bigfoots pet and it is used to guard Bigfoot's flying saucer.
yeah thats what THEY Want you to think. I used to think the same way you did. Now I have tinfoil on everything and I use black cloth to keep the rest of the mind control beams out. The choppers man the choppers ....
Shows like Coast to Coast will lie low on this subject for awhile. But like Phoenix, it will rise from the ashes in a few months.
It’s just too much fun to let let it die.
Chupacabra bad bad medicine. Stink like ground sloth with mange.
I thought that would work, but every time I leave the house this van from Willie Nelson’s with these enormous loudspeakers on top with like eight huge dudes in it cahses me around and tries to stune my beeber.
We don’t get to see Helen on very many threads these days. I really miss the old gal. It takes a chupacabra thread to bring her back.
Jennifer, it MEANS goat sucker, you ignorant slut. That's different from AKA.
Back in the day, they had chupacabra episodes on the X files, and they would call it "The El Chupacabra" and I be all like, that's redundant, you dummies, it's like saying "The The Goatsucker".
Is this another thread about michelle obama?
That’s MOOCH-elle to you, 43.
I thought it was about MOOCHacabra.
Sure, the CHUPACABRA MYSTERY SOLVED but where’s Hussein’s Birth Certificate???
Posted on 10/26/2010 6:45:09 PM PDT by DogByte6RER: “chupacabras turn out to be wild dogs inflicted with a deadly form of mange”
I have had experts take a look at it..lots of folks tell me of their personal chupacabra stories, including LEO and other government types. Are they real--well they ain't a coyote with mange, thats for sure.
I’m sure the goats are greatly relieved to know they’re only being drained by a diseased canine.
Papier-mâché on wire would be my guess. Or a goblin with insomnia.