Category Archive 'Chupacabra'

06 Nov 2007

DNA Tests Show “Chupacabra” Really a Coyote

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BBC:

US scientists say an animal found in Texas is not the chupacabra – or goat-sucker – of American myth, but a coyote with a hair loss problem.
DNA tests on the carcass found at a ranch south-east of San Antonio yielded a virtually identical match to coyote DNA, biologist Mike Forstner said.

The coyote was one of three found dead by rancher Phylis Canion this summer.

Central American myth has long spoken of a vampire-like creature that slays livestock by sucking out their blood.

The chupacabra is said to attack its victims at night, leaving a trail of carcasses with their throats torn out.

Mr Forstner said that he himself had assumed the creature brought in for testing at Texas State University was a domestic dog but “the DNA sequence is a virtually identical match to DNA from the coyote”.

Ms Canion and some of her neighbours discovered the 40-pound (18-kg) carcasses of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 90 miles (145km) south-east of San Antonio.

She said she had saved the head of one of them to get it properly tested.

Additional hide samples have been taken to try to determine the cause of the animal’s hair loss, Mr Forstner said.

Original story.

02 Sep 2007

Chupacabra

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AP is reporting that a Cuero, Texas woman believes she has found a specimen of the legendary chupacabra in the form of roadkill.

It is one ugly creature,” (Phylis) Canion said, holding the head of the mammal, which has big ears, large fanged teeth and grayish-blue, mostly hairless skin.

Canion and some of her neighbors discovered the 40-pound bodies of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 80 miles southeast of San Antonio. Canion said she saved the head of the one she found so she can get to get to the bottom of its ancestry through DNA testing and then mount it for posterity.

She suspects, as have many rural denizens over the years, that a chupacabra may have killed as many as 26 of her chickens in the past couple of years.

“I’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff. I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.

What tipped Canion to the possibility that this was no ugly coyote, but perhaps the vampire-like beast, is that the chickens weren’t eaten or carried off — all the blood was drained from them, she said.

Chupacabra means “goat sucker” in Spanish, and it is said to have originated in Latin America, specifically Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Canion thinks recent heavy rains ran them right out of their dens.


This legendary monster of the Hispanic New World must have arisen in recent stories as the result of vague memories, featuring only the name itself, of medieval legends of the Caprimulgidae, i.e. “goatsuckers”, birds of the category including Whip-Poor-Wills, Nightjars, and Nighthawks, nocturnal insectivores with wide and hairy mouths, supposedly making nightly visits to drink surreptitiously the milk of farmers’ goats. The modern Spanish goatsucker is a more alarming creature, not merely an economic menace stealing milk, but a vampiric drinker of blood.

Follow-up (11/6): DNA Testing Shows That It Was a Coyote.


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