What is bee barf? Museum's gross-out exhibit will tell you

From staff reportsSeptember 28, 2010 

  • What: Animal Grossology

    Where: N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

    When: Saturday through April 24

    Cost: $8 adults, $5 students and seniors; $4 children 5-11; free for members.

    Contact: 733-7450, ext. 212 or www.naturalsciences.org.

— What could be funnier, if you're a kid, than the gross things that animals do? That's why jokers at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences have come up with "Animal Grossology," an exhibition of disgusting science.

It looks at what happens when ticks and mosquitoes drink too much; why are cows so gassy; how snail slime can help medical research; and asks: What in the world is bee barf?

The exhibit, opening Saturday, is adapted from the "Grossology" children's book series. It's sponsored in part by the N.C. Veterinary Medical Association. Here's a preview of the five-part show and its intriguing titles:

Blood Slurpers

Some creatures are attracted to blood because it's high in protein. This part of the exhibit points out health hazards and ways to keep safe from Lyme disease, West Nile virus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Dookie Lovers

Some animals depend on poop for survival. Others prevent the spread of disease from rotting dung. Whatever you call it, poo gives scientists loads of important information.

Slime Makers

It might repulse us, but slime helps some animals move, digest and defend themselves. Visitors can help pick the King of Slime.

Vomit Munchers

What has four stomachs and produces 200 liters of saliva a day? (They also belch and toot a lot, the museum tells us.) What animals have to barf to eat, and which ones spew after they eat?

Other Gross Stuff

Learn about the animal that lives in an intestine and more.

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