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Halloween's Iconic Creatures Aren't That Creepy

6:51 PM, Oct 14, 2013   |    comments
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You know those random spiders you're so convinced are going to crawl into bed with you at night and bite?

Michael Draney, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay biology professor who has been studying them for 25 years, lets them live inside his house, because he knows each one has to eat 40 to 100 insects to survive.

Those bats that you're so sure are going to swoop down and land on your head?

Don't flatter yourself. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary naturalist Jody Sperduto has been sharing an office with an "adorable'' one for years and says they're really quite shy.

And the ominous appearance of a crow in your yard that must be a sign of death come calling?

More than likely just dinner time, says Mike Reed, director of Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

With Halloween lurking in the shadows, it's the time of year when critters considered to be creepy get all kinds of extra attention. Problem is, most of it is unflattering. Bats, spiders, crows and ravens have become symbols of the scary season, but the truth is, once you get to know them, they're not kooky, spooky or all together ooky.

"They're scared of you, too,'' Sperduto says of bats. "A lot of it is just superstition and nighttime. Halloween focuses on nighttime animals, and we don't understand them, because people like to see things to understand it. And they're hard to see, and they're little.''

Whether flying overhead or hanging out by the front door, Halloween's cast of characters is actually quite amazing, particularly to those who realize the crucial jobs - Mother Nature's tricks and treats, you might say - they do on a daily basis. Be honest: Would you want to eat 1,000 mosquitoes an hour without pay?

So before you scream, scowl, swat or squash, take a little time to get to know the so-called creatures of the night beyond just their eight legs or dark eyes.
Bats: There's not a better backyard bug zapper

Why they get a bad rap: For such a small animal, they sure have a big list of myths attached to them. Sperduto has heard them all.

Source: Greenbay Press Gazette

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