Tarantulas

Grace C., Opinion: Animals

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The tarantula is a species of Arachnid that inhabits every continent except Antarctica. There are over 800
species of these spiders found all over the world. Most of them can be found in South America. They are one of Earth’s
oldest creatures. They can live in a variety of habitats. Some tarantulas can burrow and build silk lined tunnels. Others
live in trees and make nests out of silk.
Tarantulas have become more and more popular as pets. They are noiseless, nocturnal creatures that can be
quite docile. They require very little space and are easy to feed. You can find tarantulas at pet stores, reptile shows, and
breeders. Tarantulas must be handled with care because they are delicate and can easily be injured. They can generally
range in size from 1 – 12 inches. There are some steps to having a tarantula.
The first step is the hardest. To own a tarantula, you have to overcome the fear of going near them. They are not
scary little beasts attempting to bite you, but instead, very agile creatures capable of some of the most amazing feats in
the animal kingdom.
The next step is choosing the right tarantula. There are a few things to consider when selecting your eightlegged
companion: a) habitat type, b) adult size, and c) temperament.
Different species are going to have different needs. For example, some of these spiders live in a harsh, dry
desert, depending on a burrow to keep out of the heat, while others live on canopies in tropical rainforest. Obviously
keeping a tropical spider in a desert habitat would mean a stressed and short-lived animal. Instead, research the origin
and special needs of the species you are interested in.
Another important thing is to consider the adult size. Tarantulas like the Rose Hair Grammostola Rosea and
Red Knee Brachypelma Smithi Tarantulas only grow to an adult size of 3 – 4 inches. Others, such as the Goliath Bird
Eating Theraposa Blondi will have a leg span the size of a dinner plate!
Next, consider the temperaments of the species. Some species, such as the Chilean Rose Hairs G. Rosea are
naturally docile and slow-moving animals that can be handled easily by the novice keeper. Other species like the
(Baboon Spiders) of Sub-Saharan Africa are poorly classified and should be considered only for a very experienced
owner because they can attain larger sizes (up to 7 inches) and are very unsuitable for handling. These naturally nervous
and aggressive animals will not hesitate to stand their ground, and it usually ends in the spider lunging and biting the
keeper.


Other than that, all you have to do is research the correct habitat for the species and set up the terrarium
appropriately for your critter and obtain the correct lighting. The foods of tarantulas vary from species to species, but
most eat crickets, mealworms, and cockroaches. Their diet mainly consists of those foods, but for larger tarantulas, small
mice, birds, and even lizards can be necessary for your spider’s optimal nutrition.
If you are seeking a unique and interesting pet, then a tarantula just might fit the bill.

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Tarantulas