Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines
Discover how often-feared yet biologically important animals like spiders, scorpions, jellyfish, and snakes sting, suck, bite, and stun while using venom to capture prey and provide deadly defense against predators. Plus, learn how scientists are studying venom to harness compounds that could hold the key to curing human diseases. Then, head outside to see larger-than-life animatronic models of scorpions, spiders, ants, and bees in the Academy’s East Garden—and explore the surprising differences between venom and poison in the natural world. Through Memorial Day, visitors of all ages can enjoy arts and crafts, check out a live bee colony, and meet some of the Academy’s friendly ambassador animals up close.
It's going to be a stunner of a spring at the Academy. Celebrate the opening of Venom with an electrifying assortment of interactive, family-friendly programs, activities, and animal encounters—plus giant animatronic insects in the East Garden!
Fear not...unless you’re a frog. One of over a dozen new species on exhibit, the venom of the Okefenokee fishing spider is not a threat to humans, but is lethal to its preferred prey like small fish and amphibians. Hear from Academy biologist Spencer Rennerfeldt on how she handles this impressive arachnid—and watch it in action.
On March 26, get a nocturnal dose of science as Academy biologists show off some of the most toxic specimens from our collections, including California reptiles and amphibians, venomous invertebrates, toxic plants, and more. NightLife is for adults 21+ with ID.
Scorpion vs. mouse
It might seem like an unfair fight, but the grasshopper mouse is a surprisingly formidable opponent to the bark scorpion, having developed resistance to its deadly venom. Academy arachnologist Lauren Esposito, PhD, is studying the fascinating relationship between the two species, on exhibit side-by-side for the first time.
Photo ©2018 Day’s Edge Productions