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Meeting Danielle the Tarantula

And other adventures behind the scenes at the insect zoo

By
12:32pm, February 4, 2002

Heres how good these people are. Ive had no coffee and not much sleep, but at a bit after 8 a.m., Im already convinced that its fun to hold a cockroach so big I need both hands. The entomologist who just eased the Madagascar hissing cockroach into my bare hands is Faith Deering, who coordinates education here at the Smithsonians O. Orkin Insect Zoo in Washington, D.C. Im far from the first person whos talked to her a little while and then been suddenly struck by the notion that it might be interesting to touch a giant cockroach.

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