By Richard Stile

Spiders Alive! Exhibition Opens at American Museum of Natural History

  |  Museums & Planetariums  

The American Museum of Natural History is running a new exhibition from July 28 until December 2, 2012, showcasing approximately 20 species of live spiders, and highlighting the animal’s anatomy, behavior, and unique characteristics. Visitors will learn about the anatomy, history, and defense mechanisms of spiders, and will also see live spiders up close.

Kids climbing on a spider at the American Museum of Natural History's Spiders Alive! Exhibition

The American Museum of Natural History is running a new exhibition called Spiders Alive! from July 28 until December 2, 2012, showcasing approximately 20 species of live spiders, and highlighting the animal’s anatomy, behavior, and unique characteristics. The museum has 46 permanent exhibition halls and is home to a collection of more than 32 million specimens and cultural artifacts.

As visitors walk through the exhibit they explore everything from the anatomy, history, and defense mechanisms of spiders, with museum staff available to answer questions and to present live arachnids for visitors to see up close. The exhibit includes many kid-friendly attractions like a climbable spider model 50 times life size, a robot prototype, and videos featuring short clips about the research being done on spiders around the world.

The exhibit begins at the entrance with a spider sculpture created by the late French-born American artist Louise Bourgeois, followed by an introduction which welcomes visitors with three live tarantulas, some as colorful as tropical birds. The visitors will then encounter the area of the exhibit highlighting the anatomy and behaviors of a spider, all while standing under a 40-foot-long model of a golden orb-web spider. The next exhibition highlight reviews the great variety and diversity of spider habitats, reproductive behaviors, life spans, appearances, and hunting styles, and offers visitors a chance to view a rare 100-million-year-old fossil of a spider in limestone. Visitors will also get a chance to view a real silver argiope spider web, which has been colored and preserved to show how a web is strong, elastic, and lightweight.

Visitors can also meet a live fishing spider, tailless whip scorpion, a western black widow spider, a goliath bird eater, and a golden orb-web spider, which are just a few species of the 20 available at the Spiders Alive! Exhibition.

Visit our calendar listing for more information about the exhibition.

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