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. 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. Scientists have identified over 42,000 species of spiders to date, and there are at least as many more out there 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, one of the few North American spiders truly 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. The exhibition will also include larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits and fossils.