LaR Num. 2 - El Chupacabra Picture

Legends and Realities #2, the infamous Chupacabra, one of my personal favorite cryptids. As long as we're on this topic, anyone else annoyed at how the 'hairless canine' version of this myth seems to have taken over? I dunno, but it just get on mu nerves. A coyote with no fur is hardly a monster.

The Legend: El Chupacabra
The Reality: Vampire Ape (Chupacabras simia)

Height: 4-5 feet (when fully erect)
Weight: 90-130 pounds

Deep in the lush forest of Central and South America, a predator of frightening speed, eerie stealth, amazing strength, and shocking lethality dwells in the high canopies of tower trees- the vampire ape. This hairless primate is the largest creature on Earth to consume blood as almost the whole of its diet. It is covered in dark grey, wrinkled skin, and much of its body is dotted with coarse bristles. They sports long, wickedly sharp fangs and claws. Its glassy black eyes shine brightly at night. About the size of a common chimp, the vampire ape is a formidable creature. But it is also nonaggressive and secretive. The only way someone might find him- or herself at odds with one is if they directly it- or even worse- its family. The vampire ape is a social animal, living in small, closely knit clans. Although they might not all be related by blood, every members of a clan care for one another live family. They go through every day with the help of their fellow clan members, all capable individuals taking turns at different duties and positions. Child care, grooming, hunting, and sentry duty are all shared. Unlike other group animals, there is no real pecking order. Besides a single individual chosen to lead the clan in dire times, the vampires apes are all equal in stature. But despite their social sophistication, they are terrifying hunters. It is said that the legendary beast they inspired, the 'Chupacabra', leaves no footprints. While not true, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation behind this idea. Vampire apes hunt almost entirely from tree. Arboreal through and through, they rarely ever touch the ground, instead snatching up small animals that stray too close. They hunt in pairs. One will hold the captured prey item upside down, and the other will pierce its throat or neck with its sharp canines and then lap up the blood that drains out. This is done while the prey is actually still alive, to maximize the blood pumped out. They will reverse positions on the next kill, of which there must be several a night to fully sustain them. After as much blood is consumed as possible, the carcass will simply be discarded. Besides blood, fruit and carrion is occasionally eaten. Vampire apes mate for life. Mature males will secrete a powerful odor to let available females know they are ready to take a mate. This musk smells strongly of sulfur, another trait that made its way into the Chupacabra mythology. Once they have chosen a mate, an ape remains completely loyal and devoted to its partner. They hunt together, groom each other, and will defend each other with their very lives. The fastest way to anger a vampire ape is to attempt harm on its mate. To kill an ape's mate is to seal your own death. One of the few animals with a sense of revenge, they will absolutely not rest until utterly destroying the killer of a mate. Many will even die of sheer sorrow afterwards. Vampire apes only give birth once a year, and to one child at a time, so parents are fiercely protective of their offspring. It is believed many lost hikers and poachers have lost their lives to the claws of a pair of angry vampire apes after accidentally frightening a youngster. Vampire apes are extremely intelligent, easily to the extent of chimpanzees or dolphins. They are highly curious, often collecting odd items they find on hunts. Older individuals will have hidden away vast hordes of metal scraps, coins, children's toys, and other such objects. Disturbing these hordes is another way to earn the wrath of a full grown vampire ape.

The Legend Begins:
Once easily able to live and feed themselves in the thick jungles of tropical America, the vampire ape had little to no contact with people. But in years past, the destruction of the rainforest has pressured the apes. In order to avoid territory disputes between clans, some small groups left the jungle, seeking out new homes. Many were able to settle in relatively isolated areas, but the journey of some stretched out much further. They practically had to squeeze in right next to Mankind. They took refuge in tiny tree groves, parks, even in the dark alleys and building tops of towns or cities. A select few even found oases in arid regions. Forced so close to humans, sighting were unavoidable, even with the vampire ape's great stealth and speed. The farm animals they preyed upon were obvious signs of a new presence as well. Although the apes do the best to hide themselves, the legend of El Chupacabra was destined to emerge.


Whatcha think? I've actually had this idea in my head for a long time. I may use it in other works.
Continue Reading: The Myths