The gray wolf ,The species ''Canis lupus'' also includes the domestic dog and the dingo , both of which are regarded as man-made variants. However, neither dogs nor dingoes are referred to as gray wolves. Throughout this article, the term "gray wolf" will be used to refer collectively to naturally occurring subspecies, especially the nominate subspecies, ''Canis lupus lupus''. also known as the timber wolf, western wolf,The term "western wolf" is primarily used by American taxonomists in distinguishing.. more
Similar species: Carnivorans
Uploaded Mar 29, 2015. Captured Mar 11, 2009 03:40 in Unnamed Road, West Vancouver, BC V7S, Canada.
Today is October 31st, a day that many people celebrate as Halloween. You can’t go far without seeing synthetic spider webs strewn through bushes and adorned with plastic spiders, rubber bats dangling on strings, wolf howls emanating from speakers, and images of black cats with raised hackles. But, here’s the thing: the creatures we have decorating our homes on Halloween are more afraid of us than we are of them. This Halloween, let’s give the creatures that we love to fear a break. These animals have been unfairly vilified as scary “monsters” for centuries. We have been socially conditioned to fear them. Throughout history, their bad reputations have been fueled by myth and superstition. Let’s dishonor this injustice by learning more about these animals and their beneficial roles in nature. Then, when we look into the magic mirror, we won’t be able to deny who the real “monsters” are.
Let’s start with spiders, whose ability to inspire fear is very common. Spiders are creepy or beautiful depending on your perspective. They are easily squished, generally shy, and hesitant to bite. They don’t want to mess with humans. In fact, spider bites are rare and generally insignificant to humans. Sadly, they are unappreciated for their role in pest control: they eat tons of insects, many of which are pest species that transmit disease and eat food crops. Plus, spider venom is being studied for its medicinal value in combating epilepsy and as a painkiller. Spiders are misunderstood, but not scary.
Next: bats! The fear of bats was probably initiated by explorers who returned from the New World spouting stories about vampire bats. These stories were exaggerated, and all of a sudden, bats became associated with disease and vampires. In reality, a small percentage of bats carry rabies and it’s very unlikely that a bat will try to suck your blood. Bats are beneficial species that serve as nighttime pest control, pollinators, and seed dispersers. And, they can help cure disease…Proteins in vampire bat saliva can be used to treat high blood pressure and blood clots. If you think about it, humans are the stuff of a bat’s nightmares. We destroy their habitat, and we are the ones that introduced white nose syndrome into North America. This syndrome has killed millions of bats since 2006. They should fear us more than we fear them.
What about wolves? Rewind to 1589 when a man named Peter Stumpp was brutally executed for being a werewolf. No doubt, he did some terrible things, but being a werewolf was not realistically one of his crimes. Humanity’s fear of wolves is not exactly based on science. In the real world, wolves are shy and documented attacks on humans are rare. They play a crucial role in balancing food webs and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Unfortunately, wolves have been overhunted into scarcity.
Adding black cats to this list of maligned animals may seem weird because they are common pets. But, sadly, black cats are often included in the ghoulish ménage of Halloween creatures. The persecution of cats is centuries old and may have started because older women often cared for stray cats. These women were sometimes accused of being witches, and thus the cats were tainted by association. Sounds logical, except for the part about the witches. Honestly, the only creatures that should really fear cats are backyard birds. Domestic cats kill approximately two billion birds per year in the United States!
With a little bit of knowledge, we can help these glorious creatures shed their dark reputations. It’s time to make the choice to treat them with respect, rather than fear. If we can overcome the stigma of history and realize that these animals aren’t scary, it will do wonders for conservation and education. Let’s live in harmony with all creatures, even the “scary” ones—that would be a trick that we wouldn’t regret this Halloween. #JungleDragon Posted 3 years ago