Scientists: Chupacabras are Just Coyotes with Mange

Chupacabras are legendary creatures said to roam North America at night. They've been occasionally sighted, but never definitively proven real. Some researchers now think that they're actually just coyotes with severe cases of mange. Barry O'Connor of the University of Michigan explained:

[...] 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.[...]

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.


Link via Slashdot | Photo by Flickr user justinjohnsen used under Creative Commons license

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Tech Fails - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Scientists: Chupacabras are Just Coyotes with Mange"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window