Quench a thirst you didn’t even know you had at Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches.

It’s a brand new original exhibition that opens this weekend at the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto.

There are tens of thousands of species that rely on hematophagy, which is the practice of consuming blood for a food source.

From fishes to birds, leeches to lampreys, this exhibit is where nature and culture truly collide.


Part of the exhibit showcases how pop culture has vilified perhaps one of the most feared blood suckers - the vampire bat.

The vampire bat is a creature that has long been at the centre of evil tales through the evolution of immortal folklore characters, such as Dracula and other vampires.


“Although the story of vampires originated from Europe, they didn’t know about vampire bats until centuries later and the only bats that actually feed on blood live in central and south America,” Dan Riskin, CTV’s science and technology specialist, said.

This exhibit is full of eye-catching displays and it’s the only one of its kind in the world. Visitors will get a rare opportunity to see some of these hemoglobin hunters at work, and in the end you may even be pulled to the dark side and actually appreciate some of their efforts.

Sebastian Kvist, the exhibits co-curator said, “leeches are routinely used in reconstructive surgery procedures in hospitals all across North America, they are amazing”.

Bloodsuckers : Legends to Leeches runs until March 22nd at The Royal Ontario Museum.