# What is a vampire's body temperature?

I’m speaking of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer canon, since it’s what I’m most familiar with, but I imagine this thread is generalizable to other mythologies.

We know vampires aren’t technically alive, and people sometimes allude their lack of typical body heat, but it occurs to me we shouldn’t assume they are room temperature.

Vampires’ muscles still move and their neurons still fire (because we know they think). They can talk, therefore they respire, whether they need to or not. All of these actions generate heat.

Can we calculate from this how warm a vampire should be?

No.

hrh

Simply as I can’t let such a troggish 1st reply go unrejoined:

Sure you can - You just need to calculate the rough expendature of energy spent by, for instance, breathing, calculate what percentage of that energy is transferred as heat into breath. The rest should be what is turned into heat by muscle contractions. Add this to the ambient temperature and there ya go! You’d have to also add other energy expendatures such as walking, blinking, twiddling fingers, artfulling arching an eyebrow, etc.

Now the actual excercise of this is beyond my knowledge. Bio/Med Goths out there? Anyone?

Hey, now, the Troggs did “Wild Thing,” right? That’s a good song!

hrh

Well now, of course, I wasn’t looking for the complex math; I was thinking more generally about Angel/Buffy, Buffy/Spike and other instances where humans and vampires have interacted physically. Kissin’ and huggin’ on a cold corpse would be rather uncomfortable, I think; probably much like lying on an unheated waterbed (which I’ve done, and wouldn’t repeat, thank you very much).

Far from being too cold, I’m thinking a vampire may well be hotter than room temperature. Wasn’t it stated once that vampires don’t sweat? That would mean they’ve no mechanism for getting rid of waste heat, other than exhaling, like dogs. And that’s probably not very efficient.

A wizard did it.

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jonathan Harker comments on how cold the Count’s hand felt:

So this implies that Dracula was a walking corpse.

Yeah, but Dracula lived in a cold, drafty castle anyway.

In the first shot, Xena is riding a wing-ed Appaloosa. In the next, she is CLEARLY riding a wing-ed Arabian. Please to EXPLAIN IT!

hrh

Actually, he didn’t:

Warm and cozy.

Of course, Buffy’s mythology is considerably different from the original. For one thing, sunlight did not kill Dracula.

Well, from V:tM 3rd edition canon I’d say that Vampires are colder then normal humans, probably close to room temperature though they’d have to be slightly above (to keep from completely freezing in their tracks right?)

There are Merits and Flaws having to do with cold/lifelikeness in the vampires. Blush of Health gives us the idea that vampires are closer to room temp (and according to my ST friend who just wandered over to see what I’m doing with a book balanced on my knee and typing, they are room temp.)

The Merits and Flaws can adjust this though. As I mentioned, Blush of Health. You retain a flush of life to your skin and you only feel slightly cool. (Under this heading it also states that other vampires become pallid and gaunt). Then there is the opposite… Touch of Frost. “Your chilling caress pulls away heat and kills plants” Mainly an eerie affect but it says you should mention your ice cold touch to anyone who has physical contact.

So yeah… either cold or room temp would be the average. In Buffyverse… who knows.

RealityChuck:

Then the Count should have been sopping with condensation! And leaving puddles wherever he stood still for any length of time.

Sorry - you opened the can of worms!

**Far from being too cold, I’m thinking a vampire may well be hotter than room temperature. Wasn’t it stated once that vampires don’t sweat? That would mean they’ve no mechanism for getting rid of waste heat, other than exhaling, like dogs. And that’s probably not very efficient. **
[/QUOTE]

Yes, but even cold-blooded animals (which also don’t have internal heat-regulation systems) don’t overheat. In order for vampires to be hotter than room-temperature, then they’d have to generate more body-heat than they could get rid of by radiating it through passive heat-echange. If a system does not have energy entering it then it finds equilibrium with it’s surrounding. That’s why when you take a hot pan off the stove, it cools down rather than getting hotter.

A vampire should have more than enough body-mass to offset the small caloric or temperature gain from any ingested blood. They would always be just about room temperature, aside from a miniscule change post-feeding.

In order for vampires to exist they must be supernatural creatures whose physiques behave in non-medically normal ways. So the whole body-temp issue becomes a question of how much body temp is imparted by their supernatural properties. Absent that, they’re room temperature given normal biophysics.

Sorry - you opened the can of worms!

Yes, but even cold-blooded animals (which also don’t have internal heat-regulation systems) don’t overheat. In order for vampires to be hotter than room-temperature, then they’d have to generate more body-heat than they could get rid of by radiating it through passive heat-echange. If a system does not have energy entering it then it finds equilibrium with it’s surrounding. That’s why when you take a hot pan off the stove, it cools down rather than getting hotter.

A vampire should have more than enough body-mass to offset the small caloric or temperature gain from any ingested blood. They would always be just about room temperature, aside from a miniscule change post-feeding.

In order for vampires to exist they must be supernatural creatures whose physiques behave in non-medically normal ways. So the whole body-temp issue becomes a question of how much body temp is imparted by their supernatural properties. Absent that, they’re room temperature given normal biophysics.

The problem is that we’re unclear exactly what powers a vampire’s metabolism. They can’t be killed by a metal sword through the heart, but are vulnerable to a wooden stake. This suggests there’s a magical component keeping them moving around. They need blood - it’s doubtful that it’s just for the protein.

What would happen to a starving vampire? Would they get thinner? Can they die of starvation?

Once again I must say how disappointed I am that the Initiative was screwed up by Dr. Walsh. It was the perfect facility to test, measure, experiment, and develop a scientifically grounded theory that explained these things.

But given the paucity of information at our disposal, I am afraid we must conclude for the moment that … a wizard did it.

• Rick

And boy was he EVER!! It’s a little known secret that vampires spend a fortune in those little moisture-absorbent packages!!

Once again with the V:tM canon…

When a vampire starves it eventually gives way to the ‘Beast’. It’s inner animal that merely lives for the bloodlust and the sating of that lust.

So they go into frenzy. Meaning they become animals, they hunt with no subtlety. The first moving thing that has blood calls to them and they pounce and rip it to shreds (or something similar) and are very messy. They are harder to take down because of this (pain is more easily ignored, adrenaline rushes making them even more stronger then usual, though if they have powers they are less able to use them unless they are physical)

If they get enough blood, eventually they will come back to themselves. But if they don’t they will either be killed because they are less likely to take shelter at appropriate times or will be taken down by other vampres, Hunters, werewolves, mages or whatever else that could harm them. That or they go into Torpor (fall asleep) for an indefinate period… could be a month could be a few centuries. Staking them and dumping them in a crypt will keep them immobilized and into torpor until someone digs up the wrong place and wakes them. Or heck, I’d assume that the wood would rot away eventually letting them move again!

[sub]I’m getting all hyped now. Purgatory, the Dark Ages vampire game I play is tonight and because of this thread I’m getting too hyped to sleep. Which is bad since I need to work tonight after the game and wont be allowed to sleep until 7:30 or so when I get home from work tomorrow morning.[/sub]

The problem with this is we’re working from too many disparate sources, Buffy, Bram, Masquarade, we may as well bring in the movies in the form of John Carpenter and Quntin Tarentino and their takes on the vamps just to muddy things further. Since the little buggers are fictional, you can pretty much claim whatever you like about their physiology and there is no one who can dispute you.
I’ve read some who claim that vampire weaknesses decrease as it ages ie 1000 year old vamps are less likely to flambe in direct sulight and other stories where just the opposite is true ie that same 1000 year old would go off like a bomb if he stepped out for a bit of sun.
In any case, everything I’ve ever read holds that vampires are paler and colder than a living being.
And of course they don’t sweat, who knows any dead guys who can sweat? The only fluid they have in their bodies anymore is blood, and that is imported

Vampires are any temperature the writer needs them to be to drive the plot.

Damn those writers!

Actually, due to heat friction caused by muscle movement, I think a vampire’s body temp would be slightly higher than room temperature. And, due to the body mass factor, if the vampire were in a chilly environment, he/she/it probably wouldn’t lose a lot of that body temp unless they were out in the cold for at least a few hours. Of course, if said vampire snuggled up to something, or someone, warm, his body temperature might increase considerably.

BTW, having read Dracula, I was left with the impression that the cozy room with a fire and dinner laid out was strictly for Jonathan Harker’s benefit. The Count himself slept in a coffin in a drafty old chapel/crypt.
[sub]Yes, Thea does have other aliases, and yes, one of those aliases writes fanfic, and yes, Thea is a whore who will take even the lamest opportunity to create a link to said fanfic so others will read it. Thus, Thea is not going to tell you exactly where the, erm, snuggling is. You have to read the story and find the snuggling yourself.[/sub]