Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave...
Away with the clichés of spiders as eight-legged, fanged monsters that must be chased away at all costs. The scientists at the Museum of Natural History in Paris know better. In the hopes of polishing the tarnished image of the spider, they have created Au Fil des Araignées (Through the Spiderwebs), an exhibit that shows these animals in their true light: as industrious hunters that represent an essential link in the food chain by devouring about 160 million insects per acre.
The interactive exhibit suits all ages and explores both the facts and myths surrounding this mysterious arachnid. Videos, kid-friendly interactive games, artistic photographs and a few live examples serve to give visitors a new appreciation of these complicated critters. Visitors staying at the Hotel Regencia should make sure not to miss the videos that cover techniques for hunting the spiders used in experiments and products. These videos are complemented by real examples of the interesting contraptions featured. Visitors can also examine spider parts under a microscope or sit at a table and imagine that they are part of one of the Asian or South American cultures that dines on spider like we eat crab.
A collection of common products that use spider venom and spider silk — which is stronger than Kevlar ® and used in a variety ways -- tops off your exploration. With 35,000 to 40,000 known species in the world — and about 1,600 in France alone — spiders have colonized almost every possible kind of environment. Au Fil des Araignées seeks to help visitors better understand these complex creatures with which we share so much of our space.
Au Fil des Araignées
October 5 - July 2, 2012
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Grande Galerie de l'Évolution
36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 75005 Paris
Every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesdays and May 1
Tickets: 9 euros for adults and 7 euros for children, free for children under 4