Skip to main content

Natural History Museum Unveils "Poison!" Exhibit at Draper Zions Bank

Exhibit showcases a live black widow spider, snake venom and toxic plants

Thursday, January 14, 2016

DRAPER – A new traveling exhibit, “Poison!” from the Natural History Museum of Utah was unveiled at Zions Bank in Draper on Jan. 14, 2016.

The exhibit is part of the Traveling Treasures program that will travel to various Zions Bank locations around the state, and is free and open to the public.

The six-case lobby exhibit showcases specimen from the Museum’s Biology Wet Lab and helps guests discover the unusual characteristics of poisonous plants and animals. Highlights from the exhibit include a live black widow spider for guests to observe in motion, toxic saliva such as snake venom and common garden plants that are surprisingly poisonous.

 “Poison is prevalent in the natural world as plants and animals have evolved an arsenal of deadly toxins to protect themselves from predators,” said Sarah George, executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah. “Our hope is that guests will learn the facts and fiction behind poisonous specimen and have a better understanding of their importance in our environment.”

The exhibit also explores the history of how humans have protected themselves from poisonous elements using amulets such as “snakestones” (fossil ammonites) to cure snakebites and “tonguestones” (fossil shark teeth) to neutralize poisons in drinks. Guests can also view a geography cone shell from a snail, which is one of the most venomous animals in the world. Other toxics on display include arthropods, minerals and dyes.

 “This is a rare opportunity to view lethal specimens up-close without being in harm’s way,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “From everyday spiders to ancient arthropods, the whole family will enjoy discovering the history of the world’s most poisonous specimens.”

During 2016 the “Poison!” exhibit will be on display at Zions Bank locations in 11 communities statewide including Lehi, Bountiful, Logan, Moab and Monticello. Free Museum admission coupons are available at the exhibit, limited to one per person.

“Poison!” is part of the long-standing Traveling Treasures partnership between the Natural History Museum of Utah and Zions Bank to bring Museum collections and objects into communities across the state.

To view a complete schedule or for more information, visit


About The Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the Intermountain West. Established in 1963, the Museum cares for over 1.2 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. The Museum has an active research program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field expeditions each year. Current Museum news is available on the Museum’s News Desk at


About Zions Bank

Zions Bank is Utah’s oldest financial institution and is the only local bank with a statewide distribution of branches, operating 100 full-service offices. Zions Bank also operates 25 full-service branches in Idaho. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 22 consecutive years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of Utah for more than 135 years. Additional information is available at