Arachno Fact and Fancy
Saturday, April 13: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Description: Spiders and arachnids- love them or leave them but at least learn to respect these top predators of the world of creepy crawlies. On Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 a.m. until noon Dr. Paula Cushing, the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will give a talk about these eight-legged creatures. In this lecture she will introduce you to these extraordinary animals, to their life history, behavior, and importance as insect predators.
An arachnologist by the name of William S. Bristowe once estimated that a one-acre field could be home to over two and a quarter million individual spiders. Spiders eat trillions of insects a year and are thus a fine natural control of insect populations. In desert environments, arachnids such as camel spiders (order Solifugae) and scorpions (order Scorpiones) are top predators, emerging from burrows at night to hunt insects and small mammals fool enough to get in their way. Learn just how venomous the infamous black widow can be, why the brown recluse is not a concern here in the west, and impress your friends and influence people with all your newly gained knowledge about these fascinating creatures. Get answers to all those pesky spider and arachnid questions that have been plaguing you for years.
Instructor: Arachnologist Paula Cushing
Biography: Paula Cushing received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Florida. In 1998, she began her position as Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Dr. Cushing has been conducting research on spiders and their relatives since 1986. She began her position at the museum in 1998. She has published scientific articles about spiders, scorpions, and solifuges (camel spiders). Her research focuses on the biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and evolutionary ecology of arachnids, particularly spiders and wind scorpions, or solifuges. She has published numerous scientific articles as well as popular articles about spiders and insects. She is also very active with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology and has served as President of both these scientific societies.
*This class includes live animals*
- $35 Non-Member
- $30 Member