From Voice of America: Exhibit Puts Friendly Face on Spiders
NEW YORK CITY — Spiders, a unique class of creatures known as arachnids, come in 43,000 varieties and have thrived for nearly 300 million years on every continent except Antarctica.
Despite their ubiquity - and our frequent contact with them in our homes, gardens and farms - spiders are poorly understood and not well appreciated. A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York is out to change that.
The museum boasts the world’s largest spider collection, and has populated its new “Spiders Alive!” exhibit with a diverse sampling. Live specimens of 20 different species crawl about in the exhibition’s glass display case, from the tarantula, which can grow to the size of a dinner plate, to the goliath birdeater, and the infamous Black Widow with its distinctive hourglass markings.