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Template:Infobox bookWhat is up with people dissing on tarantulas [genus name: Theraphosidae] these days?  I mean, sure they're big, unlike their Mygalomorphae brethren, and they have hair all over them (doesn't everyone?).  But the big difference between them and the Sydney Funnel Web Spider (an example of Mygalomorphae), is that the Sydney Funnel Web carries venom while Tarantulas lack venom in it's entirety.  Tarantula bites only cause mild to little tissue damage, so you'll be fine you big baby.

Tarantula classificationEdit

Tarantulas, like I mentioned before, belong to a section of spiders called Mygalomorphae, or Mygalomorphs for short, which also contain spiders similar to Tarantulas, but lack it's bigness.  These examples are Trapdoor [Idiopidae, the Armored Trapdoor Spiders], Funnel Web [Atracidae], Purse Web [Atypidae, or Atypical Tarantulas as they're called], Curtain Web [Dipluridae], and so forth.  Similar to most species, such as Felidae [cats] or Canidae [dogs/ mongrols], Mygalomorphae existed during Earth's creation; and the reason of the species distribution worldwide was mostly due to Pangaea's split.  Further into detail, Mygalomorphae, unlike it's brother gene Araneomorphae, only has it's chelicerae, the fangs/ mouth, pointed down instead of vertical, for the Araneomorphs; as Tarantulas fall to the downed fangs, they are classified as Mygalomorphae.

Tarantula habitsEdit

Some genera of tarantulas hunt prey primarily in trees; others hunt on or near the ground. All tarantulas can produce silk; while arboreal species typically reside in a silken "tube tent", terrestrial species line their burrows with silk to stabilize the burrow wall and facilitate climbing up and down. Tarantulas mainly eat large insects and other arthropods such as centipedes, millipedes, and other spiders, using ambush as their primary method of prey capture. Armed with their massive, powerful chelicerae tipped with long, chitinous fangs, tarantulas are well-adapted to killing other large arthropods. The biggest tarantulas sometimes kill and consume small vertebrates such as lizards, mice, bats, birds, and small snakes.

Tarantula bites and defenseEdit

Before biting, a tarantula may signal its intention to attack by rearing up into a "threat posture", which may involve raising its prosoma and lifting its front legs into the air, spreading and extending its fangs, and (in certain species) making a loud hissing by stridulating. Tarantulas often hold this position for longer than the duration of the original threat. Their next step, short of biting, may be to slap down on the intruder with their raised front legs. If that response fails to deter the attacker, the tarantulas of the Americas may next turn away and flick urticating hairs toward the pursuing predator. The next response may be to leave the scene entirely, but especially if no line of retreat is available, their final response may also be to whirl suddenly and bite. Some tarantulas are well known to give "dry bites", i.e., they may defensively bite some animal that intrudes on their space and threatens them, but they do not pump venom into the wound.

New World tarantulas are equipped with urticating hairs (technically bristles) on their abdomens, and almost always throw these barbed bristles as the first line of defense. These bristles irritate sensitive areas of the body and especially seem to target curious animals that may sniff these bristles into the mucous membranes of the nose. Some species have more effective urticating bristles than others. The goliath birdeater is known for its particularly irritating urticating bristles. They can penetrate the cornea, so eye protection should be worn when handling such tarantulas.

Tarantula behaviorEdit

Like other spiders, tarantulas have to shed their exoskeleton periodically to grow, a process called molting. A young tarantula may do this several times a year as a part of the maturation process, while full-grown specimens only molt once a year or less, or sooner, to replace lost limbs or lost urticating hairs. Clearly, molting will soon occur when the exoskeleton takes on a darker shade. If a tarantula previously used its urticating hairs, the bald patch turns from a peach color to deep blue. The tarantula also stops feeding and becomes more lethargic during this time.

Tarantulas may live for years; most species take two to five years to reach adulthood, but some species may take up to 10 years to reach full maturity. Upon reaching adulthood, males typically have but a 1.0- to 1.5-year period left to live and immediately go in search of a female with which to mate. Male tarantulas rarely molt again once they reach adulthood, but they may attempt to do so, usually becoming stuck during the molt due to their sexual organs and dying in the process.

Females continue to molt after reaching maturity. Female specimens have been known to reach 30 to 40 years of age, and have survived on water alone for up to two years. Grammostola rosea spiders are known for only eating once or twice a week and for living up to 20 years in captivity.

Changed your mind?Edit

Now you're starting to see how we and Tarantulas can connect.  We eat, hunt, love, and so forth, but what is the commonality between us?  It's on the generations and the genes that bond us to animal or insect/ arachnid.  Thank you all for reading this text and make sure to comment!

-XiaoDrake

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