Explorit: Talkin’ about tarantulas

By From page A3 | October 12, 2012

Explorit education specialist Lexi Barton holds the center's resident tarantula, Rosie. Courtesy photo

Explorit education specialist Lexi Barton holds the center's resident tarantula, Rosie. Courtesy photo

By Lisa Justice

The tarantulas will be taking over Thursday, Oct. 25, at Mori Seiki for a public science lecture hosted by Explorit Science Center. The lecture will be free and open to all.

Featured speaker Elena Coupal will have more than 15 tarantulas on display as she shares her passion and knowledge of some of the world’s largest arachnids. Coupal holds a degree in biochemistry from UC San Diego and is an active member of the American Tarantula Society.

As an avid tarantula collector and enthusiast, Coupal hopes to dispel some of the myths that put people off the large spiders. For instance, even though tarantulas have venom to kill their prey, to a human that venom is less powerful than a honeybee’s sting and is virtually harmless unless you have an allergy.

Tarantulas can be found all over the world in tropical and arid regions. Most tarantulas eat insects, frogs and mice, although one tarantula in South America can even eat small birds!

Like other spiders and insects, tarantulas periodically molt, shedding their outer skeletons as they grow. But in that molting process some tarantulas can replace internal organs or even grow back missing limbs. Tarantulas can live up to 30 years in the wild.

Join Explorit in learning more about these fascinating creatures on Oct. 25 at Mori Seiki’s facility, 3805 Faraday Ave. in Davis. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 6:30. Seating will be limited, so RSVP at www.tinyurl.com/tarantulatalk.

This lecture is just one part of Explorit’s first Community Science Project, “Spiders in Your World.” Join us for more spider-themed fun at our Fall Family Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Woodstock’s Pizza will be on hand, along with a bounce house provided by Bargain Jumpers. In addition to our new exhibition, “Beyond the Table: A Look at Agriculture and You,” there will be hands-on spider activities and spider-themed carnival games. You’ll also have an opportunity to support Explorit by buying raffle tickets with prizes that include Zumba fitness classes, family passes to Dave’s Pumpkin Patch and Cornival, and a gift basket of spider goodies.

If you can’t join us Saturday, you can still catch our new agriculture exhibition from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays through Feb. 24.

— Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 Fifth St. For more information call 530-756-0191, visit www.explorit.org or “like” Explorit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb.

Special to The Enterprise

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