Don’t Pick up That Rolled up Newspaper! It’s ‘Be Kind to Spiders Day’
Spiders get a day in the spotlight March 14, 2010 at Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans
March 8th, 2010 New Orleans, LA
Who would have thought that the eight-legged creatures that are the inspiration for so many horror movies actually have a very important role in our environment and even our lives? Spiders have been around long before dinosaurs walked the earth. During the millions of years of their existence they have certainly earned a bad rap.
On March 14th, 2010, Audubon Insectarium is setting the record straight on these amazing arthropods and why our fears are greatly exaggerated.
Spiders are an important part of the ecological balance of this world, without them our lives would be much less pleasant (and much more fly ridden!). They are clever, useful, diverse, fascinating and often beautiful as well. There are aeronautic spiders, designer spiders, spiders that hunt with a bolas, others that throw a net over their prey. There are perfumer spiders that use false pheromones to attract moths, aquanaut spiders that dive beneath the water and engineer spiders what build underground tunnels with well fitted doors.
On March 14th visitors will get the opportunity to meet Diana, the Salmon pink bird-eating tarantula, Dharma the Indian Ornamental tarantula and all their arachnid friends. Listen to spider-themed chats will be take place at the interactive stations. Hear myths and facts about brown recluses and see them up-close and personal. Even learn about medical research using spider venom. Kids of all ages will be able to participate in educational activities as well.
Admission to Audubon Insectarium is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children. Admission Audubon Nature Institute is just $5 discount. Audubon Insectarium is located at 423 Canal Street, inside the U.S. Custom House, at the corner of North Peters and Canal Street. Guests can visit the spiders and all the other arthropods Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am till 5:00pm.
- The first spiders lived about 400 million years ago in the Devonian era, but they didn't become abundant in numbers until about 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous era.
- No human being has ever been officially recorded as having died as the result of a 'tarantula' bite.
- The largest known spider in the world is Goliath bird-eating spider from South America. Its scientific name is Theraphosa leblondi and it can have a leg span of up to 28 cm (11 in).
- Only about half the world’s spiders spin webs to catch their prey, the rest are hunters either actively stalking their prey or lying in ambush somewhere.
- The largest individual webs in the world are spun spiders in the genus Nephila, these may be 2 meters (6 ft) in diameter and can catch small birds and bats.
- Widows and recluses are the only 2 spiders in Louisiana that have venom dangerous to people. Even though spider bites are rare, these are two kinds of spiders people should be able to recognize.
- Tarantulas have an undeserved reputation from TV shows and movies as being both aggressive and dangerous. Most are neither.
- Fishing spiders can dive under the water and still breathe. Air bubbles cling to their body hairs and supply them with oxygen underwater that can last up to a half an hour.
- Huntsman spiders include an Australian species that was the featured spider in the movie “Arachnophobia.” And, there is a local species that often lives in homes where it is underappreciated as an eater of roaches.
For pictures of our eight-legged friends, click here
The not-for-profit Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans operates ten parks and museums dedicated to Celebrating the Wonders of Nature. For more information about Audubon Nature Institute, its public attractions, and conservation efforts, please visit www.AudubonInstitute.org.