Spiders!

During my recent trip to New York I found some time to visit the American Museum of Natural History. I wanted to see their spider exhibit, you see.

Of course, step one was finding the place. Seventy-eighth and Central Park West, as I recall. Ah, this looks right:



The exhibit itself was a bit smaller than I had expected. I went through it in forty-five minutes, and that was after reading every sign and watching every video. The place was also overrun with screaming, squealing little kids, so that marred things a bit for me as well. But it was still fascinating and I’m glad I went.

There were numerous posters on the wall with photos of exotic spiders. Like this one:



I wonder how this one got its name:



Oh, now I see:



It also passed my basic test for any exhibit in a natural history museum: There is a reference to Charles Darwin:



The real stars were the spiders themselves. Lots of creepy crawlies on display. Since they were in glass cases, a lot of my photos were consigned to the discard pile. But here are a few that came out decently. Alas, I no longer remember the names of these fellows, so if any spider-mavens want to provide some insight in the comments go right ahead/



















Wait a second! That last one isn’t a spider now, is it?

Apparently when Stan Lee first ptiched the idea for Spider-Man to Marvel Comics, they rejected the idea. “People hate spiders,” they reportedly said. Perhaps so, but this particular exhibit was doing a booming business. So if you happen to be in the area I recommend stopping in for a visit.

Comments

  1. #1 Biojournalism
    http://biojournalism.com
    August 21, 2012

    “Alas, I no longer remember the names of these fellows, so if any spider-mavens want to provide some insight in the comments go right ahead”

    I would also like to know, because I swear I the one in the first picture in a movie. The depiction in the movie wasn’t flattering…

  2. #2 Christopher Taylor
    http://coo.fieldofscience.com
    August 21, 2012

    Wait a second! That last one isn’t a spider now, is it?

    Neither, for that matter, is the first one. It’s an amblypygid of some kind. One of them did appear in a movie, being tortured by Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

  3. #3 Lenoxus
    August 22, 2012

    The diversity of spiders, even within small geographic areas, is ridiculous. It seems like nearly every spider I’ve ever encountered in my home or backyard represented a different species (though it’s possible some were males and females of a highly dimorphic species).

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