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An eight-eyed insight into the world of arachnids

National Computational Infrastructure

Dr Ajay Limaye with the Drishti exhibit at Spiders.

NCI’s Drishti Prayog is featured at Spiders, the newest exhibition at Questacon and will help give visitors an eight-eyed insight into the amazing world of arachnids.

Spiders features fascinating exhibits and interactive displays, along with 200 spider specimens including live Australian tarantulas, funnel-webs, redbacks and giant water spiders. The extensive collection helps to demystify the often misunderstood spider.

Visitors can explore all aspects of a spider’s life; from their unique diet, jaws and venom to their adaptation, reproduction and growth strategies in different habitats.

They can also bravely step into the web of a net-casting spider to get their photo taken or peer into the insides of a spider using Drishti Prayog’s 3D scanning technology.

NCI’s Dr Ajay Limaye is the creator of Drishti and Drishti Prayog and says that the software allows people to interact with science at the exhibit rather than passively observing it.

“For the exhibition we have concentrated on three different aspects of the spiders – venom glands, silk glands and reproduction,” he said.  

“To show venom glands we chose the Eastern mouse spider, for silk glands we chose the silver orb-weaver and to teach visitors about spider reproduction, we chose the orange-legged swift spider. 

“People who visit the exhibit and interact with the display can examine the CT scans of these spiders and they can digitally dissect and see the insides. 

“Labelled images and movies are embedded in the display which allows users to gain more information about the spiders.

“When digitally cutting or relighting the data, or exploring internal structure, children are actively engaging with the content and thereby gaining more in-depth understanding of the phenomenon.”

The exhibition is suitable for all ages, and entry is included with Questacon admission. Spiders will be on display at Questacon until October 2016 when it moves to the Australian Museum before touring to other Australian venues.

Questacon SPIDERS launch - Monday, 23 November 2015

Questacon SPIDERS launch – Monday, 23 November 2015

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