Blogger: Adam Murray, Communications Officer


Have you watched the new Batman and Spiderman movies? Were you dragged along by your other half or are you a secret comic book superhero fan?

This started off a debate in our office over who is best between these two masked crusaders. Spiderman had it easy being bitten by a radioactive spider giving him super cool powers. Whereas, Batman equally had it easy as he is a millionaire and can just buy all his amazing gadgets. I am always a Marvel man rather than a DC comic bloke – so Spiderman gets my vote. It also reminds me of the 1970s when my brother regularly jumped over our floral sofa with his spidey pyjamas.

Got me thinking though, with our future direction as an organisation being more inclusive of all bugs, birds and beasts in the UK, how do we choose which species is “better” than an other? As you can imagine it is not as easy as you think – but watch this space for more information on this topic.

What I can do is let you know that bats and spiders, regardless of their superhero namesakes, are as equally awe inspiring as each other. For example, did you know that the name “bat” dates from 1575 but has many other regional variants like the Yorkshire “flittermouse”. The common pipistrelle – Europe’s smallest bat and the ones you often see in your garden at dusk – can be known to roost in numbers as large as 100,000 (now that is a party).

I have always loved spiders, mainly because as a kid I would chuckle at my Mum’s reaction to them, Miss Muffet style. Speaking to our very own spiderman in our Conservation Team you can see that many people love these underdogs of the underworld. Do remember that, with the exception of the water spider, few British spiders will give a painful nip. For an animal with such a small brain one must be agog at the mathematical complexities and strengths of a spider’s web. And if you go down to Norfolk today you may come across the great raft spider whose legs can span more than 13 centimetres (5 inches).

So next time you head to the cinema for some modern day B-movie think about all of Nature’s superhero Olympians who have inspired the writers to produce a darn good yarn.


Photos: Spiderman and Batman battle it out at the RSPB in the East offices. Courtesy of my 20 month old son (honest).

Find out more on Twitter ( @RSPBintheEast ) or from our friends at the Bat Conservation Trust (@_BCT_ ) and Buglife ( @Buzz_dont_tweet ). Also let us know who is your favourite.