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You may never have heard of Brian Lawton, but you have probably seen the creepy crawlies he breeds. His giant spiders, cockroaches, worms and wetas have featured graphically in such films as Lord of the Rings and TV hits Hercules and Zena.Oh, and one of his ‘hero’ frogs appears in a certain TV beer commercial.

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Baruch and Brian

Brian moonlights as a live animal curator at Auckland Museum. So back in hishome lab, he and stepson Baruch busily breed up food such as flies and meal worms for the museum critters and make sure there are stocks of cockroaches or spiders on hand in case a movie calls.

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Bruce the pet bearded dragon

David Steemson and Spectrum spend an afternoon with Brian and Baruch and find out where their passions for small creatures come from.

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Baruch and his glow worms