Prince and tarantula join in one of first Nature Live events

17 September 2009

HRH Prince William of Wales and a very large tarantula joined in one of the first Nature Live talks in the Natural History Museum's new Darwin Centre this week.

Spider expert Jan Beccaloni in a Nature Live event in the Attenborough Studio

Spider expert Jan Beccaloni in a Nature Live event in the Attenborough Studio in the new Darwin Centre

As the grand opening celebrations for the new Darwin Centre began, the Nature Live team were getting visitors close to nature, with the help of Prince William, a hairy red-knee tarantula, and Museum spider expert Jan Beccaloni in The Secrets of Spider Dating event.

Children from the The Royal Marsden were there too and got to hold a giant diamond that was more than 3 billion years old in an event about minerals. They also saw deep sea worms and had a go at grinding away the rock from around real dinosaur fossils.

The free drop-in daily Nature Live talks take place in the new high-tech Attenborough Studio in the Darwin Centre, and they bring the public up close to Museum scientists and specimens, discussing a fascinating range of natural history topics.

Giant squids, great white sharks, edible insects and the search for gold, these are just some of the topics of Nature Live talks coming up in the next few weeks, although the talks happen all year.

Here are some of the talks to join in. You just need to turn up on the day:

  • Zoology Backstage, 16 September 15.30
  • Meteorites: The Change Makers, 17 September 12.30
  • Great Whites in Great Britain? 17 September 14.30 and 24 September 12.30
  • The Virus Hunters, 17 September 15.30
  • Discovering Dinosaurs, 19 September 12.30 14.30 and 15.30
  • A British Beach Clean: Flotsam and Jetsam, 20 September 12.30 14.30 and 15.30
  • The Great Pretenders, 21 September 12.30
  • The True Treasures of the Andes, 21 September 14.30
  • Edible Insects, 22 September 12.30
  • The Complete World of Human Evolution, 22 September 14.30
  • Meet the Parasites, 23 September 12.30
  • The Natural History of Giant Squid, 23 September 14.30
  • Blood Sweat and Botany, 24 September 14.30
Nature Live blog
Prince William with children from The Royal Marsden in the Attenborough Studio

Prince William with children from The Royal Marsden joining in a Nature Live event

The Nature Live team also have a blog that you can follow, in the Museum's new NaturePlus website, also launched this week. They report on the events so if you can't make it into the Museum, sign up for blog feeds.


The new NaturePlus gives nature-lovers their own area of the Natural History Museum website where they can collect their favourite content, join discussions, forums and blogs with Museum scientists and get the latest science news, all in a personal My NaturePlus.

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Sider dating
Nature Live in the Attenborough Studio 

Giant squid, spiders dating, plants that bite and parasitoid wasps are just some of the subjects of our daily Nature Live talks and events in the Attenborough Studio. 

Find out more about Nature Live