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So I got this species of vampire-creatures (no conversion of other species, just mating and reproducing in typical mammalian fashion) that subsist entirely on blood. I'm using a bit of magic to imply they subsist on both the nutritional aspects of the blood and magical energy in the sanguine itself. Technically speaking, it is a supernaturally efficient digestive system that would give them a huge advantage over humans if the species weren't kept in check by burning sunlight.

Anyhow, I had planned it so they are capable tool users, so draining blood could be done with a knife and some patience, but now I feel as though I'm being lazy about their design. After all, the species would probably be drinking blood long before they learned how to make a cutting tool. So, What teeth/mouthparts would be best for a humanoid blood-drinker?

Normally I'd just look at the animal kingdom for inspiration, but all the other bloodsuckers are either smaller than a thumbnail or just scratch and lick. Feel free to get creative, as long as the result seems plausible biologically. Blending in with humans isn't a priority in this setting.

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    $\begingroup$ How much blood do they need to drink, exactly? $\endgroup$ – bendl Jun 5 '18 at 17:54
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    $\begingroup$ @bendl My notes say about a half-gallon a day, which is why their supernatural efficiency is noted in the question. I assumed the amount drunk isn't as important to their teeth/mouths as the fact they exclusively drink blood. No need for molars and the like. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 5 '18 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ If the amount was not important, then they could use a mere needle with a groove attached to a finger — or antenna, proboscis, … They then lap the stuff off the finger — and need no teeth. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food Jun 6 '18 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ What's wrong with scratch and lick? $\endgroup$ – Agent_L Jun 6 '18 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Agent_L (cool name) Nothing, I'm just concerned about how they would scratch before the invention of knifes. Personally, I'm pretty hesitant about having clawed humanoids. They just seem out of place to me and imply tool-use isn't necessary. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 14:47
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I always liked the classic vampire fangs what can be used to suck blood. Firstly they are sharp. Secondly, they have a small hollow tube in them which the vampires can use to suck the blood out of a victim with no need for licking or scratching. Just good old, bite in the neck and drain out the blood.

The exact length you need would depend on which arteries the vampires would likely use and how deep they are under the skin. If your vampire kills its victims rather than take a bit of blood at a time, then you won't need to worry about something to numb the area( or have very thin teeth which would be risky).

Otherwise, if you want to keep the victim alive, you would likely feed at night while the victim is asleep. Numb the area with some chemical coating your teeth or released like snake venom which means the victim wouldn't realize or feel much and won't suddenly wake up. You would also need something to be able to heal the wound over quickly without leaving much of a trace, which would likely be in the vampires saliva so the victim doesn't just bleed to death form having a vein punctured.

I assume the teeth would work just like how us sucking on two straws works, the blood would flow into the vampires mouth and be swallowed and digested like normal to simplify the body design. Basically imagine two thing straws attached to the roof of your mouth and try to drink something.

I can't draw but here is a cross section image Vampire Teeth Cross-section

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    $\begingroup$ @PinionMinion I'm not too sure about how strong the teeth would be, but I would base it off snake fangs. You can probably go with re-growing teeth because its very likely your vampires will lose some teeth as they feed, especially with live victims or if someone tries to interrupt a meal. As for top and bottom fangs, I can't see it working too well. It suggests you would be able to fit the limb or neck into your mouth completely. I could image some tough bottom teeth, a mix between our incisors and molars to help the vampire clamp down on a victims exposed skin and hold them in place. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Jun 6 '18 at 4:33
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    $\begingroup$ Probably wouldn't need to actually have a hollow tube - if the teeth are concave/horseshoe shaped, then the divot/channel on the outside would probably work for sucking through. This allows you to have the tooth almost full-thickness to prevent weakening. The lips form a seal to the neck, and the shape of the teeth keep a hole open to suck through instead of blocking it when you pierce the skin. $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Jun 6 '18 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @PinionMinion small pits on the outside of the teeth could hold venom; the vamp could lick a gland in its mouth and then its teeth, coating them with the venom immediately before biting. As it bites, the venom enters the victim's flesh. The necessity of coating its teeth before biting makes me think of various pitfalls: if coated too long before the bite, does the venom weaken? Is the venom smelly/colored, potentially alerting prey? Can venom remaining on teeth damage the teeth, numb the vampire, etc? $\endgroup$ – user51614 Jun 6 '18 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ @user51614 I hear you pointing out flaws in your idea, but all I can think is how threatening a vampire coating his teeth mid-conversation would be. Plus this leads to easy extraction for non-hunting purposes, which is a concept that has been growing on me as late. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ @PinionMinion I wasn't thinking of them so much as flaws as I was things that contribute to plot twists $\endgroup$ – user51614 Jun 6 '18 at 18:21
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The mouths of these vampires could be modeled after everyone's favorite blood-draining medicinal tool: leeches, specifically Hirudo medicinalis. These gross instruments of old-timey medicine are famed for their ability to extract a lot of blood and not hurt you while they're doing it.

The structure of these leeches mouths look like something out of a horror movie, but are very simple: three pointy teeth(or sets of of teeth) arranged in a circular mouth. Their mouths also secret some chemicals to help them get blood: an anticoagulant called hirudin to keep the blood flowing, anesthetics to numb the pain of the piercing and sucking, and sticky mucus to keep a good seal around the wound.

So, your vampire would have a few sharp teeth arranged around a circular mouth. These teeth can just be spikes, as they aren't need for chewing. Their saliva can contain the same anticoagulant and anesthetic properties to keep their prey bleeding and pain-free, and can even throw some mucus in the mix to ensure a seal between their mouth and the prey.

A gross black-and-white image of a leeche's mouth

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    $\begingroup$ I like the mucus and incisors, but we're talking about a human-sized creature drinking a medically worrying amount of blood. No matter how stealthy and painless these mouths may be, most animals are going to either run away or attack the vampire before they can latch on for a drink. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 5 '18 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ @PinionMinion: Perhaps the anesthetic is more of a full-body thing than local to the bite: the vampire ambushes the prey, gets a bite in, then follows the prey until it collapses from the anesthetic(and running for its life). The vampire can then slurp up the tired prey's blood at its leisure. $\endgroup$ – Giter Jun 5 '18 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ Vampire venom could even go beyond mere anaesthesia and be pleasurable to the victim, like an opioid. As a bonus, the prey may become addicted and actively seek out the vampires in order to get their fix in trade for giving up some blood. $\endgroup$ – Aurelius Jun 5 '18 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Aurelius This is actually used in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books; there's a kind of vampire in those books whose saliva has a narcotic effect. It's mainly used to prevent their victims from resisting (because they don't want to) but after enough exposure, repeat victims actually crave more of it and become compliant and even eager to provide their blood. $\endgroup$ – anaximander Jun 6 '18 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ @KalleMP I'll be honest: I'm trying really hard not to think about the byproducts of a blood diet. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 14:51
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Regular human teeth would be more than sufficient if the rest of the creature is sufficiently strong.

They grab their victim, yank back the head, bite directly into the caratoid artery and guzzle down the fountain of blood that rushes out. They prefer their victims to be awake and terrified to increase the blood flow and reduce the amount that's still in the body when the heart stops. (Plus the adrenaline just makes it taste better.)

They're strong enough to do this with one hand clamped firmly over the victim's mouth and nose, so any screaming is usually brief and muffled.

If they have time, once the victim has quit struggling they'll lift the corpse up over their heads and drain/suck the rest of the blood out like you would a squeeze-bottle full of cherry cough syrup.

Cursory physical inspection is insufficient to out someone as a vampire as there are no outward anatomical differences. The vampires do, however, spread tales about fangs or sideways mandibles so as to throw off suspicion.

Alternatively, forget normal teeth. Give them a two-foot, hollow, prehensile tongue with a sharp, retractable, piercing point just under the tip. They knock their victim down, shove their tongue into the chest cavity and wiggle it around into the aorta and suck the body dry. Detection requires careful physical examination of the tongue, or listening carefully for the occasional faint click of the point against the teeth when speaking. The vampires encourage tongue piercings to help throw off suspicion.

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    $\begingroup$ . . . Your mind seems like a wondrous and terrifying place. I did say that blending in wasn't a priority, but I'll be damned if some of your images aren't going to haunt me. The hollow tongue with a piercing tip seems like a great idea that would allow these vampires to eat from all kinds of animals however. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ @PinionMinion Either method would work fine on animals as well. Most critters that have necks have a major artery running near the surface. There's really not much else of a place to put it. Tongue or teeth won't have a hard time reaching it. You can give them more strength without changing the chemistry of their muscles by moving the attachment points further from the joint. Greater strength at the cost of not being able to throw a fastball. And yeah, the inside of my head is an interesting place when I'm in "story mode". $\endgroup$ – Perkins Jun 6 '18 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm scarred for life after reading this. The tongue thing would make for a terrifying horror movie $\endgroup$ – IEatBagels Jun 6 '18 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @TopinFrassi Want more? Add a narcotic venom so the victim not only feels no pain, but actually enjoys being eaten. $\endgroup$ – Perkins Jun 6 '18 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like an aswang or The Strain's version of a strigoi $\endgroup$ – Evpok Feb 8 at 14:04
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Even the only known mammalian hæmovore, the vampire bat, has anticoagulants in its saliva, and some mild neurotransmitter inhibitants... and some wickedly sharp incisors, so although it does only "scratch and lick" the reason it can get away with that is that the victim (mostly donkeys if memory serves) are often mostly unaware they're being fed upon.

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Have you considered the possibility of them consuming their prey in large components, then regurgitating those parts they cannot digest? You don't need very fancy teeth for that, just some good old chompers and flexible anatomy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragon#Diet

Komodo dragons eat by tearing large chunks of flesh and swallowing them whole while holding the carcass down with their forelegs. For smaller prey up to the size of a goat, their loosely articulated jaws, flexible skulls, and expandable stomachs allow them to swallow prey whole

and

After digestion, the Komodo dragon regurgitates a mass of horns, hair, and teeth known as the gastric pellet, which is covered in malodorous mucus

These aren't the only creatures to have such habits, of course (many predators do something similar), so applying it to creatures that are only interested in the blood and just vomit up the remains after draining them would not be difficult and would pose an interesting contrast to the usual vampire tropes. This might be a bit more savage/violent than you want for your vampire-creatures, though.

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    $\begingroup$ Its a cool and original idea, but seems more than a little inefficient. Humans, for example, weight about 150 pounds and contain maybe 10 pounds of blood. That's a heck of a lot to regurgitate. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 5 '18 at 22:16
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    $\begingroup$ In addition to the remark by @PinionMinion, blood has a tendency to evict itself from a bodypart that's not connected to the body anymore, which makes it somewhat harder to get all the blood needed. $\endgroup$ – Nzall Jun 6 '18 at 11:01
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There is a big problem, that they drink too much - to have long time working co-existence, they need too much people in relatively small area to feed on

family of vampires (two adults, two childs) needs either to kill and dry adult human every week (and the human population have to grow fast for that - count 1 child/year per 2 adults for 1/3 of their life, so population like 450 people could barely feed one vampire family, and somehow survive, if no other deaths are involved), or can they prey alive to regenerate (witch results to like 120 adults and 60 childs to be rotated - still pretty big village for ancient times)

And that is the minimum just to survive. So Vampires needs to be pretty teritorial, slow growing population with only few families in big area, else they would extinct from killing its food too fast.

Also humans are good cooperators and the vampires would be hunted terribly, if they misuse humans so much (and vampires are younger than human, as they are specialised on human as food, so they would be at big disadvatage at first, until they fully extend they powers, get higher in numbers and establish some kind of stable manageble situation)

There are two possible solutions for that - first the vampires would enslave humans as food and took care about them as we do for cows, pigs etc. (but it is totally other world), or second ther will be just few vampires, highly mobile and they would have something to offer too, so humans would not try to destroy them all at all cost.

And that would be possible, if vampires would use something like leeches, but offer a lot more - anesthetic and anticoagulant (for obvious reason), but also some drugs to paralyse the prey (for the time of drinking), other drugs to provide happiness and pleasure to the prey (so the prey would not like to retaliate, but may be willing to provide blood for pleasure even next time), some good medicine (to prevent prey from death and for faster recovery - it could also provide some kind of resistance to other parasites, illness and other common case of premature death, as well as make it heal faster to not lose much blood and recover it faster - which would help also with other medical problems so wounded/ill people would seek for be used by vapires to survive the original wound/illness and recover faster).

Also even when digestive of vampires is superefective, there can be some residuals, that would vampires dispose back to their prey (and that would help recovery as mentioned before).

If vampires are specialized in humans (and magic is involved), they may even not digest the blood at all, but just mix it with their blood directly, spend all food from it as well as some other parts and then return the blood to their next prey (so using humans as "external digestive system" for themself).

This way the prey would recover even faster (but be really hungry), as it would not lose so much of blood, only part of its blood would be fitered out of usable food and quality and such, but overall blood presure (and volume) would be nearly the same, maybe even some residual from vampire extra speed/strenght/enhanced sences would be there and the prey would be for few days faster and more powerfull itself, so be able find food and recover and have more success in human society, as well as be more fertile (so successuful prey would have more childs more ready to be prey too and "marked" people would be local heroes, so be prey would be kind of blessing (even at high personal cost))


So the vampires may be not killing demons, but dangerous symbionts of human race (at least in some cultures)

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, there seems to be a bit of a problem: I never said that these vampires subsisted entirely on human blood. I'm perfectly fine with them drinking blood from all members of the animal kingdom specifically for the issues you have addressed. That being said, symbiotic vampires is a very interesting idea, especially with the medical benefits you've laid out. This makes me imagine a pair of mouths, one in-taking blood while the other returns it to the human victim's system. I am very sorry if I was unclear with the wording of the question. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 0:16
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Thus far the answers are all pointing towards noticeable teeth, but personally I think teeth are too easily noticeable. We notice humans with mildly-enlarged canines so I've always seen the Vampire-with-giant-canines as more of a visual effect and not a sensical portrayal of something that needs to be stealthy to survive.

I would imagine that looks like a lamprey's mouth inside of the tongue (the tongue could open up) or hidden somewhere else in the mouth/throat. What's more, this can be employed while kissing or other similar activities without biting the person; which is to say that normally in visual representations there is a grandiose bite that is obviously non-sensual. With the front of the tongue turning into a nasty mouth this bite would still be able to look like an ordinary kiss.

What this gets you is a Vampire that isn't detected simply by looking at its Canines/incisors. If the this hidden mouth is suitably difficult/invasive to discover (and if your Vampires are as beguiling as other vampires) then this makes them much harder to detect.

Lastly, this type of mouth virtually guarantees that no blood is lost in the act, so they don't have to wipe their mouth, or worry about drips.


A note: I believe things like this have been done before in TV (and one can picture the Iconic Alien throat-mouth) but I can't seem to find images of what I'm thinking of. The below will have to suffice.

For reference, a Lamprey's mouth looks like so: enter image description here

For further reference on Lamprey, This is what they look like attached: enter image description here

And this is the type of mark they leave. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ So . . .vampires has conventionally teeth for cosmetic purposes, but have retractable leech/lampreys instead of esophagus-es and stomachs? That's a cool alternative to Dracula-fangs. Very X-files. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 18:09
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An even more disturbing (at least to me) method than all the ones before would be a mosquito like proboscis, I mean its sharper than any needle and cuts through skin segregating a saliva that makes you feel nothing until its too late, as mosquitoes can see in infrared they usually go straight to veins and suck a lot of blood, its like the perfect method to steal blood but also the perfect way to transmit diseases like vampirism for example ;)

Now you picture something like that but in the size of human teeth....

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm on the fence about this method. A mouthful of probosces would certainly be menacing, but seem like they could be easily broken if the prey struggles or the vamp gets socked in the face. Specialized needles seem like a difficult thing to regrow or keep spare rows of. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ umm well if you see the proboscis under a microscope its basically like the alien mouth, the outside its just a protective layer, the "needle" its inside and gets pulled out when it needs to use it, so maybe the teeth its the protective layer? inside its the real thing, which now I find even more disturbing.... $\endgroup$ – Eric Jun 6 '18 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ . . . well I regret googling those images and mentally transplanting them to a human mouth. This system of feeding would make for a highly disturbing autopsy scene. $\endgroup$ – Pinion Minion Jun 6 '18 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ at least you didn't searched for video... its really, really disturbing.... so yea... let me know when you finish your story, now I'm kinda curious now haha $\endgroup$ – Eric Jun 6 '18 at 20:58

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