Not Just for SSNakesss

Creepy Crawlies That Bite & Sting

The creepy crawlies. That's the feeling we get while scrambling through a cave or swimming through murky water or reaching into a dark corner - any place a creature, especially a venomous creature, might lurk. Maybe you like the feeling that a gila monster might bite you, or a scorpion might sting you or a black widow spider might get you

If so, the National Aquarium's Venom: Striking Beauties exhibit is for you. Come safely within striking distance of 40 species of Earth's deadliest venomous animals in Baltimore. From African rainforest to South American rainforest to the United States' desert southwest to Pacific coral reef, you'll see how some fish, snakes, animals and insects use venom to eat - or to avoid being eaten.

Venomous creatures, like the lionfish (pictured above) or the gila monster (left), are brightly colored to warn predators. Others, like the stonefish, use dull colors that blend into their environment to allow them to hide.

First, venomous creatures inject a venom, or toxin, into either prey or predator through fangs, pincers, spines or some other sharp body part. Depending on what kind of toxin an animal is armed with, a toxin can kill, paralyze or even digest a victim.

But as scary as they might seem, venomous creatures aren't likely to seek you out. Encounters are usually accidental. Lightning kills more people in the United States than all of the venomous animals combined. Bee and wasp stings (which are not venomous, though some people are allergic to them) kill more Americans than snake bites.

Maryland's venomous creatures include black widow spiders and copperheads. But when spider and snake populations drop, the number of insects and rodents boom, creating their own problems. So, while venomous animals can be dangerous - even deadly - to humans, they serve their purpose in nature.

You should definitely give these animals the respect - and the distance - they deserve. Leave them alone, but you'll see there's much to learn. At the National Aquarium's Venom: Striking Beauties exhibit, you can come nose to nose (safely behind glass) with some of the world's nastiest critters and creepers. And feel the creepy crawlies.


You can win FREE tickets to Baltimore's National Aquarium, if

you write a story using words and/or pictures about your favorite (or least favorite) venomous creature. Keep your story to 100 words or less. It can be either a real life story or make believe. Read the True or False statement each week and let yourself be surprised at what you do know - and what you don't know! Print out the form below and attach it to your story.

Mail to:
NBT Venom
P.O. Box 358
Deale MD 20751.


Age _______


Address ____________________________________________________________


City/State/Zip ________________________________________________________

Telephone ( _____ )_______________


One lucky kid will win on October 25 in a random drawing. Have fun and remember, use your imagination!

Need some ideas?

If you're not sure how to start, write a story about one of these:


Kids' Calendar

Clown Around Fri. Aug. 6 (10am & 11:30am)-Ted White makes balloon creatures, performs magic tricks and relives history, all with your help. See what he'll pull out of his hat this time. Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore. $4 w/discount: 410/685-3750.

Talk Beavers Fri. Aug. 6 (7-8:30pm)-Discover worlds about our buck-toothed friends. Learn how beavers make marshes and adapt to their environment. Patuxent Research Refuge North, off Rt. 198 Between BW Parkway and Rt. 32 in Laurel. Ages 8+: 410/674-3304.

Madeline Movie August 6-8-Take a peek at Madeline's new video on Friday. Celebrate with friends on Saturday and Sunday. Play make-believe with Paris' famous little girl. 7pm Fri; 2pm Sat & Sun (Ages 4+.) Zany Brainy, Annapolis Harbour Center: 410/266-1447.

Tortoise Tourney Sat. Aug. 7 (10am)-Think you've got a fast-travelin' tortoise? Enter your standard box or water turtle (no snapping turtles) in the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks' Turtle Derby. Trophies and ribbons. Kinder Farm Park, Millersville. Kids 14 and under; $1 per turtle (limit two per person). rsvp: 410/222-6115.

Talk Ssssnakesssss Sat. Aug. 7 (11-noon)-Separate fact from fiction. What is the truth about these slithering snakes? Come with questions or any of your snakes or look at the ones on display. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Nature Center, Port Republic: 410/535-5327.

Leapin' Lizards Sat. Aug. 7 (1-4pm)-Listen to lizard lore. Author Suzanne Tate reads from her latest book, Izzie Lizzie Alligator: A Tale of a Big Lizard. Booksigning follows. Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons: 410/326-2042.

Life of an Immigrant Sat. Aug. 7 (1-4pm)-Investigate the life of immigrant Rebecca Novitsky who worked in a sweatshop in 1883. Create a spice box. Enjoy this Star-Spangled Saturday @ Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore. $4 w/discount: 410/685-3750.

Book Talk Tues. Aug. 11 (7pm)-Before school starts, read a book. Discuss From the Mixed Up File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by Basil E. Frankweiler. Borders, Bowie. Grades 4-6: 301/352-5560.

| Issue 31 |

Volume VII Number 31
August 5-11, 1999
New Bay Times

| Homepage |
| Back to Archives |