A paleontologist claims that a vampire microbe may have once roamed the primordial seas.
While they may not possesses the biting sartorial style of Count Dracula, paleontologist Susannah Porter said, "They’re just as terrifying - at least if you’re a single-celled organism."
These vampiric creatures reportedly swam the seas 750 million year ago and they made a mark on single-celled victims known as eukaryotes.
Porter examined fossilized remains she found in the walls of the Grand Canyon.
Using an electron microscope, she saw that several fossils had clean-cut holes in their cellular walls. Several specimens contained 30 plus puncture wounds.
Holes in fossils were nothing new but, according to Porter, these neatly beveled puncture marks seemed deliberate.
These microscopic predators may have jabbed a hole in their prey and then drank their single-celled quarry's inner substance – much like a vampire, she claimed.
To date, there has been no fossilized evidence of the alleged vampire microbes themselves other than their so-called victims, Porter said.
But they do have present-day descendants who persist in sucking their prey dry – a species of predatory amoebas belonging to the genus Vampyrella.