In Defense of Spiders program - Thurs, May 4

On Thursday, May 4, join GARNA and Nathrop resident Denny Radabaugh for the program “In Defense of Spiders,” in which Radabaugh will attempt to dispel some cultural fears about spiders. He will also talk about their benefits to humans, such as uses of spider silk, which is as strong as steel. This program was last presented by Denny for Central Colorado Conservancy in September, 2015.

“Our culture is one of the few in the world in which there is widespread fear of spiders,” Radabaugh says. “I think I will surprise people about where some of the misinformation comes from.” The presentation will also cover information such as the number of spider species in the world, Colorado and Chaffee County, the evolutionary origins and defining characteristics of the spider, spider biology including their senses, and spiders as predators in ecosystems.

Denny Radabaugh grew up in Michigan, where he acquired a love of the outdoors, especially fishing and camping. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Albion College, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio State University, both with a focus on animal behavior. Radabaugh taught a broad range of courses in Biological Sciences during a 38-year career at Ohio Wesleyan University, and, along the way, discovered that spiders made good experimental models for his research on predatory behavior and ecology. During his talk, he will explain how he developed both appreciation and affection for these amazing eight-legged creatures, how they came to be unjustly feared in the U.S., and how local residents can participate in the Colorado Spider Survey through the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The program will be held from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Salida, 7 Poncha Blvd. The cost is $5 for GARNA members and $7 for non-members. Online registration is available at If there is room, tickets will be available at the door. For more information, please call GARNA at 719-539-5106.

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