WWF tells the secrets of Halloween animals

Bats, snakes and spiders, they are scary but they are beneficial


Halloween is the party where you play with some big little "fears" and to do it are especially the little ones, who do not give up the traditional "trick or treat" or "scary" disguises. Among the things that are scary, for many, there are also some animals, now become part of a rather spooky iconography. Bats 'look like' large rats with wings, snakes are often considered a symbol of evil and the verse of the owl recalls the most terrible horror films, but in reality these species play a very important role in nature and hide innumerable qualities and secrets , which the WWF wants to reveal just in view of the scariest festival of the year. 

The bats They are a group of very particular animals, just think that they are the only Mammals able to fly! In Italy there are more than 30 species. They often do not inspire much sympathy to people, who may not know how useful they are to the environment, as they feed on insects and mosquitoes. Their nocturnal "life", the resemblance to large rats with wings and the habit of staying in numerous colonies that occupy dark spaces like the caves have certainly not helped the bats to be more sympathetic to humans, which in many cases is conditioned by superstitions and unfounded popular beliefs. Bats, on the contrary, are really interesting animals: they communicate with each other through ultrasounds, thanks to which they are also able to capture hundreds of insects every night and to orient themselves in spaces completely devoid of light! Snakes have always been victims of prejudices and legends. History and religion have helped to create a completely distorted image of these animals, which even today are often victims of horrible gestures. In fact, many snakes are killed every year because they are considered dangerous and a symbol of evil, although they are all protected species and their killing constitutes a criminal offense. Snakes in Italy, with different species belonging to the families of Viperidae and Colubridae, are fundamental animals for the ecosystems in which they live and are endowed with truly unique characteristics! Without legs, they manage to move easily thanks to muscular contractions of the trunk and scales, some even to climb trees and to move between the branches. Only a small number of species, then, are poisonous: in Italy, for example, only 5 Vipers are, but normally the poison of none of these represents a mortal danger for an adult and healthy, so much so that the Serum inoculation is more dangerous than the poison itself and represents an almost abandoned practice. 

L ' tawny , after the eagle owl, nocturnal bird of prey is the largest we have in Italy. The gray-brown plumage and the dark eyes make it highly camouflaged: a true ghost of the night! Often its presence is revealed only by the verse: unmistakable, ghostly and disturbing for those who turn at night in wooded areas and - above all - do not know this species. His verse often resonates even in the scenes of horror films set at night in the woods and certainly does not make him a friendly raptor. The tawny, however, is a completely harmless animal, which shuns the man but is very useful to the environment and farmers. It is in fact a predator of rodents and for those who live near green areas, a loyal neighbor: inhabited wooded areas, parks and gardens, hides by day and night turns into a skilled hunter. 

Always associated with darkness and fear, the rat is a rodent present in almost the whole world and on him are many myths and beliefs to be debunked. These are two species (the black rat and the Norwegian rat) that adapt to many environments and for this they often live in anthropized areas. This great ability to live in the most diverse environments and their habit of attending homes, towns and cities, are among the reasons why man is so intimidated by these animals. In past centuries, then, rats have been the vehicle of serious epidemics and this has fueled hatred for these rodents. Few have instead focused on their extraordinary abilities: the developed senses (smell, hearing and touch in particular) make them among the most adaptable and successful animals that have evolved on the planet. 

The spiders are a group of invertebrates, arachnids, which includes nearly 50,000 different species! They are animals of very varied shapes and sizes, with two things in common: they have 8 legs and are skilled predators. Unfortunately spiders have always been victims of prejudices: the negative symbolism of the spider is widespread in every continent and its nocturnal habits have also pushed some religions to describe it as an obscure and dangerous animal. The belief that its bite is almost always lethal has generated, then, an immediate and unconscious association between the appearance of the predator animal and the consequences of the bite itself. In reality, only in a very small number of species the bite is really dangerous for humans: in Italy there are very few poisonous species, while the majority of spiders are completely harmless. Instead, they are skilled architects: the canvas that some of them produce is a masterpiece of geometry and made of one of the most resistant silk materials in nature!

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