Spiders and Arachnid Relatives Return to Museum Starting July 4

On Exhibit posts

They evolved long before dinosaurs. They're more diverse than mammals. These incredibly versatile animals inhabit every continent except Antarctica—and can survive in environments that range from deserts to rain forests to crowded cities (not to mention suburban garages).

They're spiders, and in just one month, they're back in the Museum for the live-animal exhibit Spiders Alive!. The exhibit, which opens July 4, features 20 live arachnid species and delves into spiders’ anatomy, diversity, venom, silk, and behavior using larger-than-life models, videos, and live presentations by Museum staff.

Southern house spider (Kukulcania hibernalis)

Southern house spider females make flat, tangled webs in dark corners and under overhangs and shutters to catch insects. 

© AMNH\R. Mickens

The Museum, which has the world’s largest research collection of spiders, has been studying spider diversity for over 75 years. Follow Museum scientists into the field on a recent expedition to Ecuador in this video.

Ever wonder if spiders are insects? Or if all spiders make webs? Brush up on spider facts by watching this Spiders 101 video.


And finally, hear the Museum spider expert, Curator Emeritus Norm Platnick, answer visitors' most frequently asked questions about spiders in this video.

Spiders Alive! opens on Friday, July 4, 2014. Visit the exhibition page for more information and to purchase tickets.