After Man - Trovamp

Clinging to the trunks of trees with their clawed fingers, trovamps are ideally placed to leap, dart-like, onto their targeted hosts.

The trovamp , Hirudatherium saltans, is a small, agile, parasitic, blood-sucking myosoricine shrew from the forest floor of African tropical forests.

One of the smaller mammals of the African tropical forest, the trovamp is a parasite which sucks the blood of larger mammals. The trovamp is built rather like a typical soricomorph or one of the smaller prosimian primates. It is very agile, climbing about, usually in packs, among the trunk and the branches of the shrubs. The trovamp is a prodigious jumper and can leap 3 meters from a branch to bury its needlelike jaws into the hide of a passing larger animal. Its protruding canine teeth act as barbs and prevent it from being dislodged from its host until it is finished feeding. As many as ten trovamps may parasitize one host and will remain feeding until the host animal is severely weakened.

Trovamp lifestyle

A single host animal (such as a large hyrax) may be parasitized by as many as ten trovamps at one time. Each trovamp is held fast to the bigger creature's side by barbed teeth and curved front claws.

Trovamp head

On each jaw the trovamp has two barbs formed from the canine teeth. When the jaw is closed they protrude to give the appearance of tusks.