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A Show Any Arachni-phile Would Love

Spiders crawl into the Harvard Museum of Natural History


If you don’t like spiders and snakes, give a wide berth to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. But we suspect many creepy-crawly-craving children will drag their parents to Spiders! a temporary visitor to the museum’s permanent arthropods’ exhibition.

It isn’t just the star attraction, a live tarantula, or the 39 jars holding anywhere from one to dozens of deceased spiders. Nor is it the nifty, four-foot-long spiderweb segment woven on the overhead rafters, or the nearby display about silk making.

It’s that kids just like things that gross out their elders.

If multilegged creatures aren’t your thing, try the museum’s new exhibition Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm. True, it does include things with tentacles (squid and octopi are mollusks). But these creatures are either exquisitely made from glass, or else in glass jars, like the similarly deceased spider specimens. There are also mollusk shells, some available for touching, and fossils.

Spiders! runs through September 1 at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission to all exhibitions is $9 for adults, $6 for children 3 to 18, and $7 for senior citizens. Directions are here.

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Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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