DailyDirt: Tarantulas!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Tarantulas are huge, hairy, and venomous. Thankfully, these giant spiders look creepier than they are dangerous -- for humans, at least. While they do pack a painful bite, their venom is actually less potent than a bee's. There are hundreds of species of tarantulas that have already been identified. Here are a few more. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: asbestos, biology, colorful, species, spiders, tarantulas

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2013 @ 8:16am

    Tarantulas are awesome little creatures. I started researching them in my free time as a way to try to kick my arachnophobia's ass, and ended up getting some tiny little tarantula spiderlings to raise as pets. I have a nice 3.5" Brachypelma smithi (the kind of spider most people envision when they think of tarantulas) and a beautiful little 1.5" Grammastola pulchripes....I had a Brachypelma albopilosum as well, but unfortunately he never ate much and died last week, still less than .5".

    Cool facts:
    -Tarantulas actually have web spigots in their feet, they use them to lay down super fine lines of web as a sort of navigation system.
    -Tarantula fangs contain metal as a hardening agent, and the more times a tarantula has molted the more metal there is (this might not be true for ALL species, it's a very recent discovery and there hasn't been a lot of testing on the matter yet).
    -Female tarantulas can live up to 30 years, depending on the species. Male tarantulas aren't so lucky - once they reach adulthood, they die hours after their next molt. The shape of a male's pedipalps make them get stuck in the old molt once they reach sexual maturity, and when the tarantula breaks free it usually does so without the pedipalps. Spiders don't have very strong coagulating agents in their internal fluid-goop (technical term), so they basically leak/dry up at this point.

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