Visitors to the Anniston Museum of Natural History are familiar with the Attack and Defense hall for a number of reasons: the Kodiak bear that greets them at the entrance, the giant elk being stalked by a wolf pack, and the live snakes on exhibit. The exhibit was first completed in 1987, and has featured live snakes since its opening. The original exhibit contained a ramp and stage where a live black widow spider was kept for visitors to view. The exhibit’s original colors (slashes of red and yellow) represented three behavior types: red (physical), orange (chemical), and yellow (behavioral).
Long-time visitors to the museum no doubt remember the hall as it stood until 2015, when it was remodeled. The redesign was completed in house, meaning museum staff was responsible for the design and installation of the updates. The stage was removed to allow for a large arctic diorama, which features a polar bear, a caribou, and a simulation of the aurora borealis. The color scheme and snake enclosures were updated and improved, along with case designs. The improved exhibit opened to the public on May 9, 2015.
The updates made to Attack and Defense are part of an ongoing long-range plan to continuously improve permanent exhibits at the Anniston Museums and Gardens. Visitors and memberships are a necessary part of this plan, as it takes money to make improvements! For more information on upcoming exhibits and updates, visit our website www.ExploreAMAG.org.