Because the vampire bat is so last season

This has been bugging me… How exactly does a vampire drink blood? Yes, yes, I know… fangs pierce skin and arteries, arteries expel blood into vampire’s mouth, vampire is fed and content… Fine. But how?

1.       Are a vampire’s fangs curved?

The simple physiology of a vampire is already difficult enough to wrap a rational mind around. If a vampire, with curved fangs, were to bite into a victim’s throat, would the fangs not cause a large deal of damage AND most likely be in the way of any blood? If the vampire’s fangs are not curved, one still has to consider that the fangs would hinder any decent flow of blood.

2.       Do the vampire’s fangs distend?

Are they always out or do they need to be forced out? The latter sounds painful. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be, such action would have to alter the jaw structure to accommodate the regrowth of fangs on a regular basis. And if they do distend rather than being pre-existing, how does this occur? Like a snake’s which folds out? If so, what happens to the teeth that are replaced? If the fangs are an oddity, then surely so would be two weird, hillbilly gaps where one’s eyeteeth should be…

3.       Are a vampire’s fangs hollow?

I have asked this question before and people offered this as a solution – A vampire’s fangs could be hollow like the proboscis of a mosquito. Eeuw. Just eeuw. Although it does make sense, but if they are hollow, where do the hollows open up to? Into a gland? Then we’re back to changing the jaw structure of the vampire. And besides, vampires are always described as appreciating the taste of blood. If the blood is carried straight from a tube in the fangs to a gland in the palette and then into the system, when do they ever get an opportunity to savour the taste?

4.       Do vampires simply bite and release?

Hmm. If this were the case, vampires would be supremely messy, spilling blood all over the victim from an open wound. Can you imagine?

She smells like violets and heat, blended together in an aroma of perfumed hunger. My fangs slip into her throat and in my haste to sample the ambrosia coursing through her, I retreat minutely, desperate to extract my fangs for the taste of her on my tongue. As I release her, the force pulsing through her veins bursts forth and… Oh God! My eye!

5.       Do vampires have fangs at all?

Sacrilege!

None of these options sounds particularly appealing or logical to me. I am a traditionalist at heart. Vampires must have fangs. Vampires DO NOT use a proboscis or teeth that vaguely resemble a proboscis.

I suppose vampire fangs could distend… They do in True Blood, don’t they? With that eerie, audible click like a snake? But then again the vampires in True Blood also growl and hiss on occasion… I will never understand that. Vampires don’t hiss. Why would they? If anyone can explain this strange ‘hissing vampire’ phenomenon to me I would appreciate it.

Vampires are not cats.

Sometimes I miss reading vampire novels as an amateur vampire enthusiast. It never seemed to matter what the logistics were back then. Vampire bites human. Human bleeds. Happy vampire. I miss that. Anne Rice’s vampires were that simple to understand and I appreciated it. What was inexplicable for whatever reason was left down to mysticism or possible science which has not yet been investigated as no vampire would be stupid enough to allow it to occur. Personally, I don’t put much stock in mysticism. I don’t even like the word. I prefer things that can be explained (to an extent) with some semblance of rationale and the scientific method.

This particular vampire science is somewhat extreme for me, but it does illustrate some of the inherent problems.

But I do have a theory. Perhaps vampires do have curved fangs? And the curvature is there with a purpose, not because it looks awesome. Perhaps the curvature is intended to manipulate flesh and create a pocket where blood will collect and ooze out at a more sedate pace? Thus the vampire is not forced to remove his fangs and can still drink with little to no difficulty, no spillage to sully the meal. The fangs do not need to retract in the same manner in which a cat’s canines do not need to retract… Uh oh… Don’t get any funny ideas…. Vampires are still not cats.

Although, I have been wrong before :/ And according to this guy, I am now: http://thatotherperv.livejournal.com/145992.html

And thank you to Armand for this response:

Comment: “I was reading the post from last year. I ran across your website while looking for something else and someone, it was Lafaeyette, said that if someone knew why the connection with cats that vampires had, and why people had them hissing in various films, that this person would like to know. So I will tell you what I know, and can only guess what folklore it was referenced from.
“Cats are mysterious creatures steeped in myth more than maybe any other animal. Sometimes cats were said to be witches, or that witches may take that form, so also did they say that vampires could do this. Though usually you hear about vampires being bats, in this case, they could take cat form. And that their distinctive feature in this form (there was always a ‘tell’ given in the histories) was that it would have two tails. There you have the only direct connection. The less direct connection is that like a cat, a vampire’s eyes will shine, that with fangs, and shining eyes, it seems natural to imagine that a vampire is like a cat in some way, and will hiss when angered or in order to threaten someone. As for whether or not a vampire actually hisses when threatened or angry, I think by spending a lengthy period of time among cats that someone could pick up this expression. I admit to doing it only once without a conscious decision, and immediately laughed about it when I caught myself. “

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4 Comments

  • Reply Devika Fernando July 20, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Wow, fascinating! Damn, why have I never asked myself such questions? *lol* I guess I was and am happier to stick with mysthicism but some scientific approach would indeed be awesome. We could always ask Witch Doctor Rowan Mayfair…
    I have never given much thought to the details of blood drinking. However, don’t the new ones sometimes spill or make a mess of it in vampire stories? So that would imply that it does take some skill and is indeed awkward… or they just chomp down too hard in their greed. 😉
    As for bats and cats, lots of the cat association might stem from the fact that we don’t really associate bats with predatory skills and that black cats as well as big feral cats instil a bit of the terror and nightly charms that vampires do. I read that linked article and that sounds really fascinating, too. Wew, my mind is whirring at the moment…

    • Reply Carmen Dominique July 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      I find myself thinking far too much about these things, to be sure ;).

  • Reply Hook in Mouth May 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “I think by spending a lengthy period of time among cats that someone could pick up this expression. I admit to doing it only once without a conscious decision, and immediately laughed about it when I caught myself.” Mental image, FTW.

  • Reply Hook in Mouth May 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

    If was a vampire my signature sound when threatened would be buzzing like a bee… I’m sure the Talamasca would approve.

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