As I reassure my 3-year-old son every time we see a spider (or a picture of a wolf, a shark, a snake or, oddly, a raccoon), there is no such thing as a “bad” or “mean” animal.
Of course, that doesn’t mean some people don’t find certain animals spooky, icky or just plain scary.
In honor of Halloween, here’s a gallery of “spooky” animals, all photographed by members of National Wildlife Magazine’s PhotoZone Facebook group.
Edgar Allen Poe's "grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore" is actually one of the smartest birds around, using tools to collect hard-to-reach food and, in lab experiments, appearing to use logic to solve complex problems. This raven was photographed by Efren Adalem.
If this doesn't give you at least a little chill, then you can be sure you don't suffer from ophidiophodia - the fear of snakes. This cottonmouth was photographed by Ron Broome.
If you're scared of spiders, imagine how this poor fiery skipper feels. Alison Sheehey photographed this common orb weaver making a meal of a skipper.
Okay, so most people aren't scared of raccoons (my son is evidently the exception). But with their glowing eyes and nocturnal habits, they seem an appropriate subject for Halloween. Happy Halloween from Ranger Rick!
For more on spooky birds and nature’s vampires, check out National Wildlife Magazine online!