October 31, 2018 - The Dark Side

Updated: Dec 6, 2018


Halloween is thought to originate from the Gaelic festival Samhain which marked the end of the harvest and beginning of darker days. The celebration included wearing costumes dressed as harmful spirits to confuse the dead and ward off harm.


For this week's blog, we celebrate this transition into shorter, darker days with tales from the darker side of life and the link between death and life.





This is the story of death.


And life.


And the inextricable link between them.



The predator lays its trap.



For its unsuspecting prey.



Prey is captured.


And devoured.


The Araneus Diadematus, commonly known as the European garden spider is an orb spider. This spider is feeding on its typical prey, the fly. Photographed by Renee DePrato

Remains are left for scavengers.



Many carrion eaters will smell a kill a mile away.


Arriving to pick the carcass clean.


Carrion eaters, like this Turkey Vulture, play a critical role as cleanup crew. These scavengers feed on decaying remains left after predators have had their fill. Photographed by Renee DePrato

Only bones will remain.



Not all corpses are scavenged.


Some are left to mummify.


Marine Iguanas can only be found on Galapagos Island and have the unique ability to forage in the sea. Photographed by Renee DePrato

Remains that are inaccessible or diseased.


Petrify and become fossilized.



In western culture, humans are commonly placed in coffins


And buried in graves marked with tombstones.



Tombstones provide high vantage points.



For prey animals to keep watch.



And the occasional roost for bats.


Deer forage amid the markers.


And the cycle of death.


And life.


Continues.




Waterman Center wishes you a

safe and Happy Halloween!







Resource Links

Halloween origin

Orb-weaver spiders

Araneus Diadematus, European garden spider

Bug Guide

Marine iguana

Common Greenbottle Fly

Deer-vehicle collision

White-tailed deer

Ruminant stomach

Hunter's Moon

Gray Tree Frog


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