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Skin-crawling exhibit features live spiders

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014 - 01:30

Spiders spin a web of intrigue at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Elly Park reports.

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For most of us they are a trigger for fear. It even has its own scientific name: arachnophobia. But this giant tarantula is anything but dangerous. In fact most spider species are harmless to humans -- one of the points highlighted at the "Spiders Alive" exhibit held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Norman Platnick is curator of the exhibit. SOUNDBITE: Norman Platnick, Curator Of "Spider's Alive!", saying (English) "They can't hurt you at all. Most of them are so small they can't break your skin. Even if they could break your skin, which they are not likely to do, and even if they ejected venom, which almost all spiders have, in almost all cases, the venom has absolutely no effect on humans." So while these eight-legged creatures have minimal impact on our physical bodies, they are actually crucial to our everyday lives. SOUNDBITE: Norman Platnick, Curator Of "Spider's Alive!", saying (English) "Spiders are the main regulators of insect populations, including populations of the insects that attack our crops. If the spiders aren't there, insect populations go through the roof, they eat all our food, we have nothing." According to the museum, spiders on one acre of woodland can cosume more than 80 pounds, or 36 kilograms of insects per year. Besides different species of spiders, the exhibit also features other arachnids such as live scorpions. They are ready to charm visitors starting July 4th until November 2nd.

Skin-crawling exhibit features live spiders

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014 - 01:30

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