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4 Tarantula Facts For Kids

navajocodetalkersadmin on December 8, 2014 - 10:00 am in Fun Facts for Kids

Tarantulas are large hairy spiders. Many people suffer from a fear of spiders and Tarantulas scare them the most. They are a little scarey looking but are actually pretty harmless. Tarantulas can live a long time!

There are different types of Tarantulas, 700 to be exact. Scientist believe that they have been around for millions of years without making any major changes along the way. They are found all around the world in warm climates!

1. Where Do They Live?

Tarantulas are found in Central and South America, Africa and the Southern US. They can live in trees or in holes in the ground. They also can live in brush or under logs and rocks. They do not spin webs as other spiders do but they do use their silk to cover the entrance to their burrow to help keep predators away.

Tree dwelling Tarantulas use their silk to build little tunnels that they can crawl through up in the tree.

2. What Do They Eat?

Tarantulas are carnivores so they eat other insects. The larger species can actually eat a lizard! They forage for insects and grubs as their main source of nutrition however they are not only the predator, sometimes they are the prey.

The Spider Wasp will sting the Tarantula than use it to lay their eggs. The wasp stings the Tarantula to paralyze it then digs a hole in the spiders back and lays its egg and than buries the spider alive. Once the egg hatches and turns into larvae the larvae eats the spider from the inside out!

Spider Wasp’s are not the only predator that the Tarantula needs to look out for. They also need to look out for humans! In some cultures deep fried Tarantula is considered a delicacy. People say that it tastes just like Peanut Butter!

They also have to be on the look out for weasels that will eat them so they set up trip wires with their silk to alert them to any approaching predators!

3. Defense

The Tarantula has little barbs on its abdomen (belly) that they can brush out with their legs and than throw at any threat. The barbs are hooked and they hurt but they are not poisonous.

4. They Shed!

They shed their external skeletons and actually regrow some internal organs as they grow. They can grow their legs back! They are nocturnal hunters which is good news so you do not have to see them crawling around. They are fascinating arachnids!

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