From 30 January to 27 April 2014, one can meet both tropical and Estonian native live spiders at the Estonian Museum of Natural History.
“Although any of us can unmistakably recognize a spider and these creatures hardly leave anyone indifferent, we know very little of them. In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the life of spiders, the exhibition also aims to disprove various myth-based beliefs and dispel widespread fears and superstitions,” said arachnologist Mart Meriste, one of the curators of the exhibition.
At the exhibition, one can see and get to know both big exotic spiders and our secretive everyday companions, as well as half a dozen scorpions. The exhibition gives an idea of the anatomy and ecology of selected animals and introduces the peculiar hobby of keeping tropical theraphosids as pets.
“The exhibition’s section of Estonian spiders is undoubtedly the most extensive overview of them so far,” Meriste noted. More attention has been paid to species that visitors have a greater chance to encounter in the wild, or whose role in nature is perhaps more exciting or important. The exhibition also introduces the habitats and diet of spiders and presents a short film about web-spinning.
At the family days held as part of the exhibition, one can participate in a comprehensive tour on live spiders guided by an arachnologist. A laboratory in the study class offers spider-related activities to visitors of all ages and will be open during the entire family day. Current information on selected dates when spider-friends have the chance to caress spiders will be available on the museum’s home page and on Facebook.
The Estonian Museum of Natural History is located in Tallinn’s old town at Lai Street 29a and is open on Wednesdays and Fridays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibition was prepared with support from the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre.