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About the Exhibition

Spiders Alive! Kids

© AMNH/R. Mickens


For centuries, spiders have inspired mythmakers from Ovid to E. B. White to the creators of the eponymous superhero Spider-Man, 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 rain forests to crowded cities.

In Spiders Alive!, visitors can 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 approximately 20 species—including the goliath bird eater, one of the largest spiders in the world; the western black widow; and the fishing spider—the exhibition features larger-than-life models, videos, and fossils. Museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close.

Visitors will also be able to learn about spiders’ key characteristics; where spiders are found; how they are adapted to their environment; the roles they play in their ecosystems; and how scientists study spiders.

Spiders Alive! opens on Friday, July 4, 2014.

American Museum of Natural History

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