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Best Cure For A Bad Day: Meet Creatures That Survive And Thrive At Life's Extreme Limits

Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
A model of a tardigrade

The Witte has opened a new summer exhibit called "Extreme Creatures: Life at the Limits."

The exhibit includes models of creatures that can survive nature's toughest living conditions, including the microscopic Tardigrade that can endure extreme temperatures and space radiation. They likely live in your backyard if you have moss around.

Beth Stricker, the museum's vice president of exhibitions, said the exhibit also includes a life-sized model of a Corpse Flower, which blooms every seven to ten years and smells of decaying human flesh when it does.

She said visitors don't have to wait a decade to get a whiff.

"We do have a kind of a scent station where you can sniff the smell for yourself," she said.

Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
A model of the corpse flower

The exhibit also includes a life size model of a Southern elephant seal, which can dive a mile down and stay underwater for up to two hours.

Visitors also learn how dragonflies fly, about a fish that can eat ten times its own body weight, and about an octopus than mimics venomous and poisonous creatures to scare away attackers.

Admission is $5 plus museum admission and $4 for Witte members. Tickets are available at WitteMuseum.org or at the admissions desk. The exhibit runs through Labor Day.

The Witte, founded in 1926, is located on upper Broadway.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian