Teacher’s questions for True Vampires


Before reading:

1)      What is special about blood that would make it an attractive source of nutrition for some animals?

2)      Would you expect a blood-sucking animal to be more active during the day or night? Explain your answer.

During reading:

1)      What is a proboscis and what does it do?

2)      Provide several examples of bloodsucking animals.

3)      Of the 16 moths Jennifer Zaspel’s team collected, what percentage drank blood?

4)      What are sensilla?

5)      What difference appears to explain why some Calyptra thalictri moths are bloodsuckers while others stick to fruit?

6)      What advantage would there be in evolving to drink blood?

7)      How do vampire spiders indirectly obtain a meal of blood?

8)      What separate functions do a vampire spider’s eyes play?

9)      Why do the spiders prefer to prey on female mosquitoes?

10)  How does a vampire bat approach its victims?

11)  Explain the role pit organs play in the vampire bat.

After reading:

1)      Why would the scent of blood make a vampire spider more attractive to a potential mate?

2)      Explain how David Julius and his fellow researchers discovered vampire bats are especially sensitive to heat.


1)      Vampires aren’t real — but some vampire animals are. What role could a bloodsucking animal such as a vampire bat play in the creation of vampire myths?

2)      Would you expect to find more vampire animals living in warmer or colder climates? Explain your answer, focusing on the nature and availability of their prey.