I'm a newbie to Melbourne. I'm enjoying finding all that the city has to offer and will be sharing more of my exploits here.
Published April 20th 2014
Take a closer look at the insect world
Museums are well known for fossils, relics and artefacts from the past. At Melbourne Museum you can see some 'living fossils' too. We spent an afternoon wandering round the 'Bugs Alive!' exhibition getting to know, and see, some of Australia's creepiest of crawlies.
The exhibition can be found inside the dinosaurs section on the ground floor. Go past the display cases filled with beetles of every colour and you will be immersed in the insect world.
For newbies to Australia like us it was exciting to see live funnel-web spiders and female red-backed spiders and, after reading about the power of their venom, we were glad there was solid glass between us and them.
Another highlight was a selection of live tarantulas from around the world including the amusingly-named King Baboon Tarantula. These unlucky critters were confiscated at customs when their owners attempted to smuggle them in to sell as pets; they will live their lives in quarantine at the museum so as to avoid damaging Australia's unique ecosystem. As they grow tarantulas shed their exoskeletons - even their fangs - and these are also displayed about the exhibition. If you're lucky you may even get to see a tarantula molting.
It wouldn't be a bug exhibition without the troopers of the insect world; ants. There are green tree ants building nests high in the branches of trees, regular ants commandeering an old termite mound, and soon there will be a new colony of bull ants. They are all fascinating to watch and must be the most active insects on display - apparently they never sleep!
From ants to arachnids, stick insects to waterboatmen, there is something to delight and disgust everyone here at Melbourne Museum. If your appetite for knowledge is not quite sated after all that though there are plenty more exhibits to explore here - a quick stop at the café will have you refreshed and ready to go. On top of all this - kids get in for free!