Nest Of Vampires (2021) [REPACK]
Film Club #62: Nest of Vampires (2021) - If the copywriter for sawdust box instructions decided to write, direct and produce a film that hardly feature any vampires or any nests and make it so bizarrely boring that it become incredibly entertaining, then that would be this.
Nest of Vampires (2021)
In invasive parasites, generalism is considered advantageous during the initial phase of introduction. Thereafter, fitness costs to parasites, such as host-specific mortality, can drive parasites towards specialism to avoid costly hosts. It is important to determine changes in host specificity of invasive populations to understand host-parasite dynamics and their effects on vulnerable host populations. We examined changes in mortality in the introduced avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) (Diptera: Muscidae), a generalist myasis-causing ectoparasite, between 2004 and 2020 on Floreana Island (Galápagos). Mortality was measured as the proportion of immature larvae found upon host nest termination. Over the time period, the avian vampire fly was most abundant and had low mortality in nests of the critically endangered medium tree finch (Camarhynchus pauper) and had the highest mortality in nests of hybrid tree finches (Camarhynchus spp.). Low larval mortality was also found in small tree (Camarhynchus parvulus) and small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) nests. Selection could favour avian vampire flies that select medium tree finch nests and/or avoid hybrid nests. Overall, the finding of differences in avian vampire fly survival across host species is parsimonious with the idea that the introduced fly may be evolving towards host specialisation.
Larval specimens of 241 nests were assigned an age class via observation using a dissecting microscope, following instar identification protocols35,49. Parasite intensity was calculated as the total number of larvae, pupae, puparia and adult flies within a nest. Mortality in the avian vampire fly larvae was measured as the proportion of immature (first and second instar) larvae in the nest at the time of host resource termination64. This measure accounts for the possibility of third instars and pupae fully developing into adult flies following host termination65. This measure also provides an estimate of parasite mortality per host nest, given that first and second larval instars are unable to continue development in the absence of nutrition65,66.
Host specialisation may ease the burden of parasitism in some host species yet may heighten the threat for other neighbouring species, particularly in host-limited, geographically restricted habitats, as occurring on Floreana Island82. Smaller, endangered populations, such as the medium tree finch, are more likely to have low genetic diversity with a reduced capacity to evolve in response to parasites83. The threat posed by the parasite is further exacerbated by the high intensity of avian vampire fly larvae found in medium tree finch nests. In comparison, the hybrid tree finch that is the result of recombination between the small and the medium tree finch may have increased genetic variation, which may offer novel genes on which selection can act to evolve resistance to parasitism84,85. Given the observation that female medium tree finch frequently pair with male small or hybrid tree finches rather than medium tree finch, and the potential for increased hybrid resilience42,53, the medium tree finch population may continue to decline, eventually resulting in only a hybrid swarm17. Hybrid recruitment, as measured by the proportion of yearling birds in the population, has remained stable across years since 2005, whereas medium tree finch recruitment rates declined across the same period, suggesting hybrid nestlings and/or fledglings may have a selective advantage over medium tree finch offspring52. Understanding host-specific parasite fitness in this system highlights the need for directed conservation efforts to more exploited hosts or those less likely to evolve parasite resistance mechanisms. Our results suggest that such mechanisms may be evolving in the Camarhynchus hybrid group, but at a cost to the medium tree finch population.
We found high parasite mortality in hybrid avian hosts, which we document in a generalist and recently introduced parasite to the Galapagos archipelago. The parasite did best in nests of the Floreana Island endemic, the medium tree finch. Theory predicts that the vampire fly should be selected to oviposit preferentially in medium tree finch nests, given that it has the highest pupation success in medium tree finch nests, and avoid hybrid finch nests where most of its offspring fail to pupate. Understanding the mechanisms by which the avian vampire fly avoids or selects host nests, invests in generalist or specialist offspring, or alters its strategy to survive in prevailing environmental conditions are at the forefront of research into this rapidly evolving host-parasite interaction system on the Galápagos Islands. Our study provides evidence for differential fitness of an invasive parasite in nests of different host species.
An underrated post-apocalyptic movie that we often sing the praises of here at Cultured Vultures, Stake Land is a road trip through a world controlled by vampires. We join Mister and Martin as they try to eke out survival where the vampires are as varied as they are bloodthirsty.
A definite outlier in this list of the best vampire movies, What We Do In The Shadows is, in a word, daft. As one of the better horror comedies of recent times, What We Do provides a decidedly sillier spin on the traditional depiction of vampires.
With Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi at the helm, What We Do offers laughs a minute as painfully uncool vampires try to adjust to modern life. When they sire a young vampire, they must try to teach him their ways while he teaches them his.
Woods stars as Jack Crow, the leader of a team of vampire hunters. After his parents were murdered by vampires, Crow was raised by the Catholic Church to become their "master slayer". The plot is centered on Crow's efforts to prevent a centuries-old cross from falling into the hands of Jan Valek (a reference to Valac, played by Thomas Ian Griffith), the first and most powerful of all vampires. The film also stars Daniel Baldwin as Tony Montoya, Crow's best friend and fellow hunter; Sheryl Lee as Katrina, a prostitute who has a psychic link to Valek after being bitten; Tim Guinee as Father Adam Guiteau; and Maximilian Schell as Cardinal Alba.
Jack Crow leads his team of Vatican-sponsored vampire hunters in a daylight raid on an abandoned house in New Mexico. Finding a 'nest' of vampires, the team subdue the creatures with gunfire, pikes, and wooden stakes, using a modified crossbow attached to a mechanical winch to pull them outside, where they are incinerated by sunlight. Despite disposing of nine 'goons', Jack is concerned about not having found their older, more powerful 'master'.
After burying his team and burning down the motel, Crow reports to his superior Cardinal Alba, who confirms that Valek was a disgraced priest who led a rebellion against the church, leading to his execution and transformation into the first vampire. Valek has already killed another group of slayers in Germany, and Alba instructs Crow to form a new team, accompanied by archivist Father Adam Guiteau. Suspecting that his team was betrayed, Crow interrogates Guiteau and dispels his heroic notions of vampire hunting, showing him a map of vampire activity that indicates the vampires are searching the southwest for an unknown object.
Using Katrina's psychic link, Jack, Montoya, and Guiteau learn that Valek has roused seven additional masters. They follow the vampires to a Spanish mission, where Valek has slaughtered the monks and seized the cross. Guiteau realizes that Valek plans to complete his own exorcism, making him immune to sunlight and virtually unstoppable. Searching a nearby abandoned town, they suspect at least thirty new goons have been transformed. Guiteau volunteers as 'bait' for the masters, allowing Jack to harpoon them and Montoya to drag them into sunlight. While they manage to kill most of his lieutenants, Valek and his undead army overwhelm them at sundown; Crow is captured, Guiteau takes cover, and Montoya and Katrina flee, only for her to fully transform and bite Montoya on the throat before joining Valek.
The film was originally set to be made with a budget $60 million, but was slashed down to $20 million at the last minute. To accommodate the sudden budgetary concerns, he wrote his own screenplay, taking elements from the Jakoby and Mazur scripts, the book, and some of his own ideas, alongside writer and frequent collaborator Michael De Luca. For this film, Carpenter wanted to get away from the stereotype of gothic vampires as he said in an interview, "My vampires are savage creatures. There isn't a second of brooding loneliness in their existence. They're too busy ripping and tearing humans apart."
In one of Vampires's most positive reviews, Gene Siskel awarded the film with four out of four stars, calling the film "a high-action homage to westerns and classic horror that actually has a unique story and masterful cinematography" and "a film that should put John Carpenter back on the map as a horror director and a film director in general." Siskel also expressed his fondness in the fact that film starred an all-adult cast without any teenagers and portrayed both vampires and vampire hunters in an original way. At the end of the year, he placed James Woods as his pick for his "Best Actor" suggestion to the Oscars.
Spending time with offspring is beneficial to development, but it's proving lifesaving to Galápagos Islands Darwin's finches studied by Flinders University experts. googletag.cmd.push(function() googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); ); A new study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, has found evidence Darwin's finch females that spend longer inside the nest can ward off deadly larvae of the introduced avian vampire fly, which otherwise enter and consume the growing chicks. 041b061a72