The Unloved Under the Microscope!

Rats, snakes, spiders… for many, these words rhyme with horror! They haunt our nights, inhabit our nightmares and provoke screams at the mere thought of them brushing against us in the dark. At grips with an unenviable reputation that they can't shake, are they really the little devils we believe them to be, or the innocent victims of persisting beliefs.

The rat is a small clever rodent extremely well adapted to its environment: it is capable of  learning and practicing teamwork within its colony. Steady passengers on schooners gone to explore the world, they have established themselves everywhere on earth, except for Antarctica. They especially enjoy the proximity of humans, the latter being very generous with its garbage!

There are over 3,000 species of snakes in the world and most are not venomous. They excel notably in the control of populations of species that humans consider pests, such as rodents. Their scale-covered skin is not slimy! Their forked tongue, for its part, is used to collect odours from the environment and does not sting.

Spiders consume large quantities of insects often considered harmful. For example, if an entire football field was covered with spiders, the latter would consume 1/2 million insects daily! Although they all produce venom, it is usually reserved for the preys! 98% of species are harmless to humans. 

Happy Halloween!