Ready to be spooked? Some of the worlds scariest creatures face an even scarier threat.
by Rachael Prokop
October 30, 2014
Some people think spiders are scary. Especially big, hairy spiders like this goliath bird-eating tarantula which has a bit of a scare-mongering name, because these impressively large arachnids mostly eat worms. And sometimes lizards. They only eat the occasional baby bird.
Terrifying eating habits aside, we have nothing to fear from tarantulas, and they have a lot to fear from us. This particular species comes from the Amazon rainforest, which is being cut down at an astonishing rate, with many of the loggers operating unsustainably and illegally.
And as the Amazon loses its trees, many spiders, snakes, jaguars, and so many other creatures lose their homes. Without the forests, these species will die. Now that is really scary.
Whats NOT creepy about bats? Their wings, the casual way they hang upside-down in the dark, their habit of hanging out with hundreds of their furry buddies Some of them even drink blood, for crying out loud!
But bats are actually pretty cool little guys. The insect-eaters perform a public service by keeping mosquito populations down. Some vegetarian species pollinate flowers or spread fruit seeds.
Unfortunately, deforestation and development are threatening bats too, destroying the trees and natural structures where many bats roost and hunt for food. This leads to more bats trying to roost in your attic, or simply disappearing along with the trees.
Its even been speculated that deforestation caused Ebola-infected fruit bats to share space with humans, leading to the current epidemic in West Africa. Whether or not that is the actual cause, its clear that if we want fewermosquitoes and a healthy ecosystem, we need to give bats their space.
Quoth the raven, Nevermore.
Ravens would be spooky even if Edgar Allan Poe hadn’t written a poem about them, but The Raven firmly cemented these sleek black birds into Halloween lore.
Ravens are foragers who eat anything from fruit to roadkill. Their meat-eating habits are responsible for their bad rep: they’ve been blamed for everything from eating livestock to portending death.
But their carnivorous diet is actually a good thing scavengers like ravens are the undertakers of the natural world, cleaning up animal carcasses that would otherwise pile up and rot.
While ravens happily live among humans in some parts of the U.S., on the East Coast they never recovered from the loss of the forests they called home. Even so, theyre lucky. Ravens, like their cousins the crows, are incredibly intelligent and adaptable, able to exist anywhere from forests to deserts to suburbia.
Most forest-dwellers arent that lucky when the forests are cut down, they die too. And even the scariest, creepiest, and grossest creatures deserve a chance to live.