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Spiders Alive!

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Add to Calendar 28-07-2012 02-12-2012 15 Spiders Alive! The American Museum of Natural History announces Spiders Alive!, a new exhibition about the fascinating and complex world of spiders. For centuries, spiders have inspired mythmakers from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of the eponymous superhero, but their actual role in diverse ecosystems around the globe is just as captivating. Among the most versatile animals on the planet, spiders inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rainforests to crowded cities. "Spiders Alive! continues a tradition of museum exhibitions that bring people, especially children and families, face-to-face with ambassadors from the natural world," says Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. "In this exhibition, as in previous popular presentations of live lizards, snakes, frogs, and butterflies, our visitors will meet some of the world's most exotic and fascinating creatures who have much to teach us about the diversity of life, the fragility of natural systems, and our own responsibility to study and steward life on Earth." In Spiders Alive!, visitors will explore spiders' anatomy, diversity, venom, silk, and behavior including little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry and noise-making. In addition to live spiders representing 19 species, the exhibition will also include larger-than-life models of spiders, videos, a climbable spider model, and fossils. Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close, and the exhibition will focus on debunking spider myths, such as: spiders need gravity to build webs, all spiders neglect their offspring, and all spiders are poisonous to humans Spiders are also important predators; without them, insect populations would explode. By one estimate, the spiders on one acre of woodland alone consume more than 80 pounds of insects a year. Scientists have identified over 42,000 species of spiders to date, and they believe that there are at least as many more yet to be discovered. Among the live spiders visitors will encounter in this exhibition are the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world, whose prey includes snakes, mice, and frogs; the western black widow, member of one of the few North American spider groups that can be harmful to people; the fishing spider, who senses prey by resting its front legs on the surface of the water; and the golden orb-web spider, which weaves a golden web that can reach more than 3 feet in diameter. Species from other arachnid orders will also be on display, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way; the giant vinegaroon, which may spray a foul-smelling vinegar-like chemical from its abdomen if disturbed; and the desert hairy scorpion, the largest scorpion in America. The exhibition is curated by Norman Platnick, curator emeritus in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. http://www.nymetroparents.com/2014neweventinfo.cfm?id=112597 American Museum of Natural History true DD/MM/YYYY
July 28, 2012 through December 02, 2012
Open daily, 10am-5:45pm, July 28 through Dec. 2
American Museum of Natural History
Upper West Side
All Ages
Free with admission: $19; $14.50 seniors and students; $10.50 kids

Description: The American Museum of Natural History announces Spiders Alive!, a new exhibition about the fascinating and complex world of spiders. For centuries, spiders have inspired mythmakers from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of the eponymous superhero, but their actual role in diverse ecosystems around the globe is just as captivating. Among the most versatile animals on the planet, spiders inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rainforests to crowded cities.

"Spiders Alive! continues a tradition of museum exhibitions that bring people, especially children and families, face-to-face with ambassadors from the natural world," says Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. "In this exhibition, as in previous popular presentations of live lizards, snakes, frogs, and butterflies, our visitors will meet some of the world's most exotic and fascinating creatures who have much to teach us about the diversity of life, the fragility of natural systems, and our own responsibility to study and steward life on Earth."

In Spiders Alive!, visitors will explore spiders' anatomy, diversity, venom, silk, and behavior including little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry and noise-making. In addition to live spiders representing 19 species, the exhibition will also include larger-than-life models of spiders, videos, a climbable spider model, and fossils.

Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close, and the exhibition will focus on debunking spider myths, such as: spiders need gravity to build webs, all spiders neglect their offspring, and all spiders are poisonous to humans Spiders are also important predators; without them, insect populations would explode. By one estimate, the spiders on one acre of woodland alone consume more than 80 pounds of insects a year. Scientists have identified over 42,000 species of spiders to date, and they believe that there are at least as many more yet to be discovered.

Among the live spiders visitors will encounter in this exhibition are the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world, whose prey includes snakes, mice, and frogs; the western black widow, member of one of the few North American spider groups that can be harmful to people; the fishing spider, who senses prey by resting its front legs on the surface of the water; and the golden orb-web spider, which weaves a golden web that can reach more than 3 feet in diameter. Species from other arachnid orders will also be on display, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way; the giant vinegaroon, which may spray a foul-smelling vinegar-like chemical from its abdomen if disturbed; and the desert hairy scorpion, the largest scorpion in America.

The exhibition is curated by Norman Platnick, curator emeritus in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology.

Address: 200 Central Park West
Upper West Side, NY 10024
Phone: 212-769-5100
Website: amnh.org

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Venue Description:

Upcoming Events at American Museum of Natural History:

  • Dark Universe - A New Hayden Planetarium Space Show - 11/02/13 - 12/31/18
  • Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters - 11/15/14 - 11/15/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Nature's Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters - 11/15/14 - 08/09/15
  • Countdown to Zero - 01/13/15 - 07/12/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease - 01/13/15 - 07/12/15
  • LIFE AT THE LIMITS: STORIES OF AMAZING SPECIES - 04/04/15 - 01/03/16
  • Life at The Limits: Stories of Amazing Species - 04/04/15 - 07/31/15
  • Life at The Limits: Stories of Amazing Species - 04/04/15 - 07/31/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Water World, Immersive Dome Experience - 06/08/15 - 07/11/15
  • Water World: Immersive Dome Experience - 06/08/15 - 07/11/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Water World: Immersive Dome Experience - 06/08/15 - 07/11/15
  • Water World: Immersive Dome Experience - 06/08/15 - 07/11/15
  • Water World: Immersive Dome Experience - 06/08/15 - 07/11/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Our Earth’s Future: Online Course on the Science of Climate Change - 06/15/15 - 08/23/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Spiders Alive! - 07/04/15 - 11/29/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Spiders Alive! - 07/04/15 - 11/29/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Jeanchel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean-Mi - 07/06/15 - 01/10/16
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean - 07/06/15 - 01/10/16
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Evening Bat Walks in Central Park - 07/10/15
  • Evening Bat Walks in Central Park - 07/10/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Manhattanhenge - 07/13/15
  • Manhattenhenge - 07/13/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Astronomy Live: Deep Sky Scavenger Hunt - 07/21/15
  • Evening Bat Walks in Central Park - 07/24/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Astronomy Live: Grand Tour of the Universe - 07/29/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Evening Bat Walks in Central Park - 07/31/15
  • Evening Bat Walks in Central Park - 07/31/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Astronomy Live: Superstitions in the Stars - 08/04/15
  • American Museum of Natural History Presents: Astronomy Live: Visiting Pluto and Friends in the 21st Century - 08/11/15