Spiders takeover Town Hall

Dr Niall Doran stands below one of two giant prehistoric spiders that have taken up residence in Naracoorte Town Hall.

Dr Niall Doran stands below one of two giant prehistoric spiders that have taken up residence in Naracoorte Town Hall.

TWO giant prehistoric spiders with a leg-span of over 5m have taken up residence in the Naracoorte Town Hall.

Fortunately for arachnophobes everywhere, they are just super sized replicas of the Tasmanian Cave Spider, which in real life grows to the size of a dinner plate.

The spiders are the centrepiece of the "Sixteen Legs: Enter the Cave Exhibition", which introduces people to the world of caves and the animals that live within them.

"Naracoorte is the first place on mainland Australia to see the exhibition," revealed director of the exhibit, Dr Niall Doran.

Naracoorte Lucindale Council and the Friends of Naracoorte Caves are hosting the exhibition alongside the conference of the Australasian Cave and Karst Management Association over the next week.

The star of the show is the Tasmanian Cave Spider. The spider is a globally significant holdover from the time of the dinosaurs, and from when Antarctica, South America and Australia split apart.

"The exhibition is a great chance for people to learn about the caves and the animals that live in them," said Dr Doran.

"We'll be having the schools in all week and the public are more than welcome to come and have a look."

The global significance of the spider has led to unexpected benefits for several lucky high school students. Last year, students won flights to Antarctica as a result of their involvement with the exhibition, and further opportunities are available this year.

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