"Tarantulas: Alive and Up-Close" at Delaware Museum of Natural History

Discover the secret world of the tarantulas at

"Tarantulas: Alive and Up-Close" opening Feb. 12

Challenge your preconceptions about tarantulas at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's upcoming exhibit, Tarantulas: Alive and Up-Close, on view Saturday, Feb. 12 - Monday, May 30, 2011. These gentle giants of the spider world are less harmful and more beneficial to humans than their fearsome reputations lead many to believe.

Tarantulas: Alive and Up-Close features a unique array of 20 live tarantulas from the more than 900 known species living all over the globe in various habitats. Species on display include a goliath bird-eating tarantula (the largest of all tarantulas), the rare green bottle blue tarantula, and the Indian ornamental tarantula, which is a species troubled by loss of habitat in the wild.

The exhibit focuses on the diversity and natural beauty of tarantulas while providing engaging learning opportunities. Visitors can observe the attributes that allow tarantulas to live in varied habitats, including deserts, rainforests, treetops, and underground burrows. They will learn that the hair seen on a tarantula's body serves survival functions, including sensing food, providing water resistance, protecting from parasites, and allowing them to "throw" barbed hairs in defense. While tarantulas are known to be fast, families can see that differences in anatomy dictate bursts of speed.

Special features of the exhibit include hands-on components such as the "Tarantulas of the World" interactive world map; "Name That Tarantula" identification activity; and "The Legend of the Tarantella." Children will enjoy the climbable "Tarantula Burrow," which also serves as a photo opportunity for visitors of all ages.

WHAT: Tarantulas: Alive and Up-Close

WHERE: Delaware Museum of Natural History, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807

DATES: Saturday, Feb. 12 - Monday, May 30, 2011

HOURS: Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 12 - 4:30 p.m.
ADMISSION: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children (3-17), free for children 2 and younger.
MORE INFORMATION: visit www.delmnh.org.

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This post is sponsored by Main Line Camp Fair on Wednesday January 26th at Conestoga High School.