Dangerous Wildlife: Myths and Reality

The exhibition „Dangerous Wildlife: Myths and Reality“ at the Estonian Museum of Natural History familiarizes you with the real dangers that can be faced in Estonia’s nature and dispels widespread myths. The exhibition is open from the 11th of April to September 2013. Exhibition catalog can be seen here.

„The exhibition teaches you to recognize emergency situations, provides guidance of conduct and encourages people to go out into the wild. No species is dangerous in itself – the behaviour or toxicity that seems evil to humans is, in fact, a means of survival,“ said Loore Ehrlich, Head of Botany Department of the Estonian Museum of Natural History and content curator of the exhibition.

At the exhibition, you will learn how to behave when encountering a bear, and where to expect a tick lurking for prey. The destroying angel and wood agaric are presented side by side – similar in appearance but one being deadly poisonous and the other an edible mushroom. You will learn about the serious health consequences from the berries of baneberry and mezereon and find out how to distinguish bilberries from the berries of herb Paris. Among other exhibits, a giant dried Sosnowsky’s hogweed is displayed in the exhibition hall.

In addition to real dangers, there are also a number of ungrounded fears and misconceptions established in human (sub)consciousness. For example, people fear spiders and believe that a lynx keeping watch in a tree crown is planning an attack. But how are things in reality? Do bats and crane flies crave for human blood? What do vipers, wasps, destroying angels and lilies of the valley need their poison for? These and many other questions will find an answer at the exhibition.