THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Tarantula spider, kept in a sand-filled glass case, was centre of attention at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) stall at the Pride of India Exhibition organised on the sidelines of the ongoing 97th Indian Science Congress.
Most visitors tapped and stroked the glass case trying to evoke some response while the exhibitors requested them to leave the creature in peace.
Tarantulas are found in tropical and desert regions and are mostly harmless to humans.
The spider was the only live specimen on display at the stall. Preserved exhibits of rare moths, dragonflies, butterflies, fish varieties and small reptiles endemic to the Western Ghats were drawing crowds. Preserved specimens of ‘atlas moth,’ the largest moth species in the country; the rare ‘pig nosed frog, also called ‘living fossil,’ etc were on display.
“It is called living fossil because molecular studies show that this species has not had any morphological changes since two million years. Which means that it has lived with the dinosaurs,” said K.P. Dinesh, zoological assistant at ZSI, Kozhikode.
The Giant Earth Worm, another species endemic to Nilambur in Kerala, is another interesting display. This worm can grow up to a metre in length.
Taxidermy of a large size anteater was another interesting sight at the stall which also had on display lively pictures of the flora and fauna from the Western Ghats.