Address: 200 Central Park West - 212-769-5100
Description: For centuries, spiders have inspired storytellers, 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. Spiders Alive! immerses visitors in the fascinating and complex world of spiders, among the most versatile animals on the planet: they inhabit every continent but Antarctica and are able to survive in environments that range from deserts to rainforests to crowded cities. Spiders are also important predators. 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 there are at least as many more 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 venomous western black widow, one of the few North American spiders harmful to people; and species from other arachnid orders, including African whip spiders, whose whip-like feelers, up to 10 inches in length, help the animal find its way.
Spiders Alive! will explore spiders' silk, venom, and little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry and noise making. The exhibition will also include larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits, and fossils, and Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close. Gallery 77, first floor