New Exhibit: Incredible Insects!

A weevil (family Curculionidae), one of many insects on
display as part of the of the new Incredible Insects exhibit.

Incredible Insects: A Celebration of Insect Biology
On display June 13 – October 15, 2017
in the Chappell Family Gallery and Stone Family Gallery, Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries, Duke West Campus (Click for map)

Please check our website for current library hours.

About the Exhibit

Insects are the most numerous and diverse animals on earth. They can be found in almost every environment. Because of their tremendous diversity, they play many important roles in nature, as well as in human society—enchanting us with their beauty, unsettling us with their strangeness. Whether revered or reviled, these fascinating and ubiquitous organisms can truly be said to have conquered the planet.

A new library exhibit offers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of insects, including research on insects conducted here at Duke.

There are three times as many species of insects than all other animals (mammals, birds, fish reptiles, amphibians) combined. The number of individual insects is estimated to be in excess of a quintillion (that’s a 10 with 18 zeros behind it).

The exhibit is divided into several sections, including insect evolution and diversity, coloration and camouflage, types and stages of insect metamorphosis, the roles of insects in human history and culture, and a fascinating look at two of nature’s greatest mysteries: the migration of the monarch butterfly and the clockwork-like appearance of periodical cicadas.

Periodical cicadas are one of the most remarkable phenomena of nature. They suddenly appear in the millions every 13 or 17 years. Then they disappear as suddenly as they came,

Exhibit visitors can also hear sound recordings of insect calls at a nearby kiosk and see up-close images of insects taken with electron microscopes.

Around the corner from the Chappell Family Gallery, viewers can step inside the Rubenstein Library’s Stone Family Gallery and peruse several selections of rare books that complement the exhibit.  The exhibit curators selected these works because they represent some of the earliest scientific investigations to discover general aspects of biology and natural history through the study of insects.

Image of a fly drawn by Robert Hooke in his Micrographia (1667), one of several rare historical volumes on entomology on display in the Stone Family Gallery.

Incredible Insects was curated by a team of entymology students, faculty and staff from the Duke biology department.

For more information, visit the Incredible Insects exhibit website.

 

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