As a Halloween special, even though it’s now over, Razz thought we’d take a different approach and cover some not so scary little monsters that don’t go bump in the night. Why don’t they? Well because they’ve evolved over the years to make sure they are fully equipped to survive in the dark.
Over the summer, the BBC mini-series The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World took us on a fascinating exploration of South America’s nocturnal animals, as a team of nocturnal specialists equipped with the latest low-light filming technology captured never before seen footage of animals out in the pitch black. And who better to do the voice over than Gollum actor himself Andy Serkis? Here are just a few of the creatures they found…
This cute little guy is also known as the “honey bear” and is of the same rainforest mammal family as raccoons. It also has a short-haired, fully prehensile tail (like some New World monkeys), which it uses as an extra hand to help it climb. It is not endangered but is very rarely seen by humans because it is usually most active a few hours before midnight and again at dawn.
I am an avid fan of the sloth and these guys are no different despite being smaller and even slower than their two-toed friends. They are also in fact very good swimmers which seems odd but helps them get around in the Amazon forests and rivers. Their greenish tinged coat and lack of movement is supposed to help camouflage them as a bundle of leaves but we all know they are just the students of the animal world…FUN FACT: They are frequently referred to as three-toed sloths, however all sloths have 3 toes, the difference is found in the number of fingers; meaning they are now more appropriately referred to as three-fingered sloths
The hunt for the jaguar was particularly long but also very interesting as the researcher camped out on a beach for several nights trying to catch a glimpse of one. In the end, she managed to film using thermal imaging, two jaguars meeting up and had a very close shave with one as it stalked right past her tent! Jaguars are the third largest cat in the world and are solitary animals except when ‘courting’ and mating.
I couldn’t resist ending on these little munchers! Vampire bats hunt only when it is fully dark and like fruit-eating bats, emit only low-energy sound pulses. The common vampire bat feeds mostly on the blood of mammals (only occasionally including humans!), whereas both the hairy-legged vampire bat and white-winged vampire bat feed on the blood of birds. I personally think they’re quite cute but I still wouldn’t want one flying around Exeter high streets after lights out…
Razz hopes everyone had a Happy Halloween!
Razz love, Becky xx