By Erin Reilly
Werewolves, vampires and giant spiders - oh my!
For centuries, pop culture has taught us to fear these creatures of the night. But the truth is not as scary as the movies may portray. The majority of the wildlife these monsters are based upon are actually more helpful to humans than harmful.
Here are five species with a bad reputation.
Yes, there are three species of bats that do feed on the blood of other animals – but that's about the only thing they have in common with Dracula. Bats eat an incredible amount of night-flying insects, including those pesky mosquitos, and play an important role in pollinating fruit-bearing plants.
#TeamJacob all the way. While there's no reason any untrained professional should ever approach a wild wolf, these majestic canines are generally not dangerous to humans. Wolves tend to live far away from suburbs and cities and are more likely to avoid humans than attack them.
The 'hoot' of an owl is a familiar sound for any horror movie buff. The ominous call often implies something suspicious or terrifying is about to go down on screen. In reality, owls are just communicating with each other and because they're nocturnal, we hear their calls at night.
While waking up next to a spider crawling down the wall is generally not ideal, these eight-legged arachnids can actually do more good than harm. Their diet consists of pesky, disease-carrying insects like roaches and mosquitoes, so we should probably say "thank you."
Throughout history, ravens have been associated with death thanks to their black feathers and diet of carrion. Despite their less than flattering reputation, ravens are actually one of the most intelligent creatures in the wild, with an I.Q. that compares to chimps and dolphins.