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Giant bugs from England invade the Houston Zoo: These creatures aren't any ordinary insects

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1 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
Houston, we have our own giant Mexican redknee tarantula - in robot form. Houston Zoo/Facebook
3 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
Workers prepare to lift a larger-than-life scorpion off the shipping truck. Houston Zoo/Facebook
2 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
There goes a robot ladybug to its new backyard at the zoo. Houston Zoo/Facebook
5 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
A grasshopper is next in line. Houston Zoo/Facebook
4 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
Thank goodness it's just a robot! Houston Zoo/Facebook
1 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
3 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
2 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
5 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014
4 Extreme Bugs at Houston Zoo unloading May 2014

They're big, they're bad and they've invaded the Houston Zoo.

Well, not all of them are bad, but 13 giant animatronic bugs are finding their summer homes at the zoo as part of the exhibit, Extreme Bugs!, which will be on view from May 24 through Sept. 1.

Zoo workers and staff members of Billings Productions, which makes the bugs along with its famous animatronic dinosaurs, unloaded the backyard monsters Wednesday at the local facility. About 60 times larger than the real thing, each creature looks exactly like its real-life inspiration — and some come with surprising tricks.

 There's a beetle that sprays water and a firefly that lights up with the turn of a handle.  

You’ll see friendly ants, a ladybug, a grasshopper, a dragonfly and a beautiful Madagascar sunset moth. There's a beetle that sprays water and a firefly that lights up with the turn of a handle. You can get up close and personal with bugs to avoid in real life, like an emperor scorpion and a Mexican red-knee tarantula.

Extreme Bugs!, which coincides with the opening of the zoo’s new insectarium or bug house, comes to take over Houston after its debut at Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England. Entrance to the outdoor bug exhibit is $3.95 a person with a general zoo admission ticket.

Got a great photo of a Houston happening or everyday occurrence? Send it to barbara@culturemap.com, along with details (who, what, where and why it's special). It might make our Pix of the Day.

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