Chupacabra Science: How Evolution Made a Mythical Monster
Parasites turn coyotes into "goat suckers," scientists say.
Flesh-and-blood chupacabras have allegedly been found as recently as June—making the monsters eminently more accessible for study than, say, the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. (See "Bigfoot Hoax: 'Body' Is Rubber Suit.")
In almost all these cases, the monsters have turned out to be coyotes suffering from very severe cases of mange, a painful, potentially fatal skin disease that can cause the animals' hair to fall out and skin to shrivel, among other symptoms. (Related: "'Balding' Bears: Mangy Mystery in Florida.")
For some scientists, this explanation for supposed chupacabras is sufficient. "I don't think we need to look any further or to think that there's yet some other explanation for these observations," said Barry OConnor, a