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Tarantula

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Saved by Mathius M
on April 13, 2010 at 9:51:45 pm
 

 

I. Intro 

     Tarantulas are one of the coolest stealth using arachnids. I came across this arachnid in The Tarantula Scientist. I found out that they may be scary, but they're totally "hairy". Most will attempt to kill them at sight, but not me. Let's face it, humans don't know what they're really looking at. Soon you'll find out why they're "hairy", and why the hairs are good for tarantulas. The you'll be eager to help these guys. Later, scary won't be the word. Maybe a little harmful, that's where the hairs come in, but still very much like other creatures. Now you'll learn all about this "hairy" fella.

II. Relatives

     Tarantulas aren't technically related to spiders. They are arachnids, but tarantulas are the scorpion, tick, mite, vinegaroons, and the daddy-long-leg's brother. They're related because they have eight legs. But the tropical and subtropical tarantulas belong to the Theraphosidae (ther-ah-fo-sie-day) family. Theraphosidae is Latin for "small animal", but they should have called it "large animal"!

III. My Details

     It's creepy how tarantulas are fully covered in hair. But that hair is there for the same reason cats have whiskers. To feel around them! Sometimes, the color of the tarantula's body varies, but the colors stay black and brown. Besides the hairs, the size of the Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula really freaks people out! The leg span of one is eleven inches long! It is three to three and a half inches tall! All that is the size of a Frisbee, and can fit your face!

IV. Home Sweet Home!

     Goliaths live in two places. Southern Mexico and Northern South America in French Guiana and Venezuela. French Guiana is practically the tarantula capital- OF THE WORLD! More specifically they live in burrows. Burrows are holes in the ground, deep holes. Tarantulas either dig their own, which takes a while, or they take vacant ones.

V. Dinnertime!

     The most obvious thing about a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula? It eats birds! Not only birds though. They eat mice, lizards, frogs, snakes, and amphibians. They use stealth and strength to get prey. Tarantulas pounce on the prey. Next, they bite them. The bite is fatal. Then the tarantula injects a liquid from the stomach that makes the prey slurpable. Then finally, the Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula slurps its dinner.

VI. Mortal Enemies

     Wasps. A tarantula's worst nightmare. But the one that attacks it the most is the Tarantula Hawk. They paralyze the tarantula with one sting. The wasp lays an egg nearby and once hatched, the baby feeds on the still-living tarantula.

VII. Defense

     The tarantula is always threatened. How do they defend themselves? By flicking hairs. Those small hairs are barbed and like a porcupine's, so once the hair touches skin, it is PAINFUL! To a small animal's skin, it will stun them. But not humans. The hairs causes irratation to the fragile skin. But if the hairs reach the eyes or mouth, it could cause serious problems to the victim. But if you go out side of South and North America, none of the tarantulas will do that, because the New World's tarantulas are the only ones with that ability. But warning with pain to stay away isn't the only defense. The other is sound. By rubbing its legs together, the Goliaths can make a screeching sound, which can be heard up to fifteen feet away.

VIII. Reproduction

     As you may already know, spiders produce lots of babies. A female Goliath Bird-Eater produces five hundred to a thousand eggs. She keeps them in a silk bag. The mother always stays with the sack. It takes six ot seven weeks for the eggs to hatch. The newborn are called "baby Goliaths". After a few weeks, the hundreds of babies are ready to live on their own, so they leave. The lifespan expectancy for the males is about ten to fifteen years. The females, however, live up to be thirty years old.

IX. Friend or Foe?

     

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