Taruntula Amazing Facts

30 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Taruntula | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. As the world’s largest spiders, tarantulas are both feared and beloved. There are approximately 900 species of tarantula in the family Theraphosidae.
  2. The name tarantula was originally given to a spider living in Southern Italy from the town of Taranto which had a fatal bite. The only cure was for the victim to dance until exhausted by which time the poison would have been sweated from the system.
  3. The frenzied folk dance based on the Italian legend is called the tarantella.
  4. Size of tarantula can range from being as small as a fingernail or large as a dinner plate.
  5. The largest species is the Goliath bird eater spider which lives in the rain forests of South America. It has a leg span of up to a 30 cm and can weigh up to 120 grams. In contrast most spiders weigh around 2 grams and most other tarantulas weigh around 7 grams.
  6. The tarantula’s reputation is based more on legend than reality. The venom of most is not highly toxic to humans. Tarantulas are actually placid and harmless and will rarely attack. The  bite is no more harmful than a bee sting
  7. Most tarantulas are hairy, have 8 legs and 2 fangs. They have 8 eyes, but they have poor vision.
  8. Tarantulas live primarily in the tropical, subtropical, and desert areas of the world. The majority are found in South America.
  9. Tarantula’s jaws move up and down, instead of the more common side-to-side motion in other spiders. The hairs which cover its body are extremely sensitive to vibrations.
  10. Tarantula detects vibration of the ground that comes from predators and from prey. In case of predators, it will hide. In the case of prey, it will wait in ambush until the prey gets close.
  11. Some species have adhesive ‘hair-brushes’ on the tip of their legs which allows them to climb vertically up even the smoothest leaves.
  12. Tree dwelling species locate a mate by their scent, and then follow the silken trail that the female leaves as she moves.
  13. After mating, the female carries her eggs in a silken cocoon attached to her body. The growth of a newly hatched spider into a mature spider is a long process and can take up to ten years.
  14. Males are much smaller than females. Amazingly most females will eat males after mating.
  15. Female lays around 2000 eggs that will hatch after 1to3 months of incubation. Very few young spiders survive from predators in the first few years of their life.
  16. Female tarantulas can live 30 years or longer in the wild. Males, on the other hand, don’t make it much beyond reaching sexual maturity, with a life span of just 5-10 years on average. In fact, males don’t even molt once they reach maturity making them easily recognisible.
  17. Tarantulas ambush small prey at night, stealthily sneaking up on a potential meal and then pouncing!
  18. Tarantulas don’t use webs to capture prey unlike other spiders. They hunt on foot. Smaller tarantulas eat insects, while some of the larger species will hunt frogs, mice, and even birds.
  19. A fall can be fatal to a tarantula as they are thin skinned creatures, particularly around the abdomen. Amazingly even a fall from a short height can cause a deadly rupture of the tarantula’s exoskeleton.
  20. Should a tarantula lose a leg, a new one will reappear the next time it molts. The regenerated leg may not be quite as long as the one it lost. However, over successive molts the leg will gradually get longer until it reaches normal size again. Tarantulas will sometimes eat their detached legs as a way to recycle the protein.
  21. Tarantulas have in fact retractable claws on each leg, like cats. It’s important for them to get a good grip when climbing to avoid fall. By extending special claws at the end of each leg, a tarantula can get a better grasp of whatever surface it is attempting to scale.
  22. The tarantula bites its prey with long, curved fangs, injecting it with a poison which slowly renders the victim helpless. It will then crush its food between its powerful jaws, at the same time injecting a fluid which breaks down the victim’s tissues. This turns the prey into a soft pulp, which can then be eaten. Tarantula has a mouth shaped like a straw and it easily sucks liquefied food.
  23. Though tarantulas don’t spin webs, they do produce silk. Females use silk to line the interiors of their burrows strengthening it’s earthen walls. Males weave a silken mat on which to lay their sperm. Females encase their eggs in a silken cocoon. Tarantulas also use silk trap lines near their burrows to alert them to potential prey, or to the approach of predators.
  24. Scientists recently discovered tarantulas can produce silk with their feet, in addition to using spinnerets as other spiders do.
  25. South American species of tarantula use their legs to scrape off the fine barbed hairs from the top of their abdomen. Each hair is covered with tiny points which, when propelled at an enemy, are both painful and dangerous, especially if they come into contact with the eyes or skin. These tactics are used against a variety of predators.
  26. The ‘spider-hunting wasp’ is the most deadly enemy of the tarantula. Known as the ‘tarantula hawk’, it is usually much smaller than the tarantula but  reaches into the it’s burrow and manages to paralyze it with its sting. It then drags it out to its own burrow and keeps it to provide a fresh supply of food for its larvae.
  27. Some of the more popular and colourful species are now threatened. The Mexican red-kneed tarantula is a protected species and international trade in this spider is restricted under law.
  28. Spiders, specifically Tarantulas were not really considered delicacy until 1970s. The tradition started back in mid 1970s after Cambodia went under Khmer Rouge communist regime resulting in mass starvation. In rest of the world , the popularity started somewhere in 1990s.
  29. For being used as food , the tarantulas are captured and fangs are removed before cooking. Then they are seasoned with salt, garlic, soy sauce and sometimes sugar.
  30. As far as nutrition content is concerned, tarantulas have particularly high zinc content and is particularly good for child growth. They are also good sources of Magnesium, Sodium and Phosphorus.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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