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Tarantulas

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by

Nicole Dudley

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of Tarantulas


Are you afraid of tarantulas?

Tarantulas
are

carnivores
and eat mostly insects.
Females
guard

their eggs in a cocoon
for six to nine weeks and then 500 to 1,000 tarantulas
hatch
.
Tarantulas can
live
to be 30 years old in the wild.
Their large bodies can
be
up to 4.75 inches (12 centimeters) long and their legs can span up to 11 inches (28 centimeters)

from
the tip of the back leg to the tip of the front leg.
They can
weigh
as much as 3 ounces (85 grams).
Tarantulas
move
slowly on their eight hairy legs. They
are

nocturnal
predators. Insects are their main prey, but they also target bigger game, including frogs, toads, and mice.
Tarantulas are burrowers and typically
live
in the ground. There are hundreds of tarantula species found in most of the world's tropical, subtropical, and desert regions. They
vary
in color and behavior according to their specific environments.
A tarantula
doesn't use
a web to trap its prey, though it may spin a trip wire to signal an alert when something approaches its burrow. These spiders
grab
with their legs,
inject
paralyzing venom, and then
bite
their prey with their fangs. They also
secrete
digestive enzymes to liquefy their victims' bodies so that they can
suck
them up through their straw-like mouth openings. Yum!
Tarantulas
have
few natural enemies, except for the parasitic pepsis wasp, which can paralyze a tarantula with its sting and lay its eggs on the spider's body. When the wasp eggs hatch, the larvae
eat
the still living tarantula.
Tarantulas
shed
their external skeletons in a process called
molting
. During the process, they also replace internal organs, such as stomach lining, and can even re-grow lost legs.



Do you have arachnophobia?
Do you have many tarantulas around your house?
What do you know about tarantulas?
There are hundreds of tarantula species
found in most of the world's tropical, subtropical and desert regions.
Would you put a tarantula on your hand for a photo?
Females guard their eggs in a cocoon for six to nine weeks and then 500 to 1,000 tarantulas hatch.
Tarantulas are nocturnal predators. They mostly prey on insects, but can also hunt bigger game, including frogs, snakes, toads and mice. A tarantula doesn't use a web to trap its prey. These spiders grab with their legs, inject paralyzing venom, and then bite their prey with their fangs. Most tarantula venoms are only strong enough to paralyze an insect.
Tarantulas shed their external skeletons in a process called molting. During the process, they also replace internal organs, such as stomach lining, and can even re-grow lost legs.
Tarantulas have few natural enemies, except for the parasitic pepsis wasp, which can paralyze a tarantula with its sting and lay its eggs on the spider's body. When the wasp eggs hatch, the larvae eat the still- living tarantula.
Tarantula venom is weaker than that of a honeybee and, though painful, is virtually harmless to humans. According to researchers, there's never been a confirmed case of human death caused by a tarantula bite.
Comprehension
1.
Are tarantulas dangerous to humans?
2.
What does the word '
hatch
' mean?
3.
When are tarantulas most active?
4.
What does the process '
molting
'
refer to?
5.
How does a tarantula kill its prey?
Vocabulary
carnivore-
eats meat
guard-
protect, take care of
cocoon-
a protective covering, a silky case where some spiders enclose their eggs
hatch-
to come out of an egg
nocturnal-
active at night
predator-
hunter
prey-
victim, hunted for food
web-
what spiders usually spin to trap insects
bite-
the action of teeth on food
fangs-
the sharp, longer teeth usually in the corner of the mouth
secrete-
release of substance
enzyme-
proteins capable of chemical changes in organic organisms
suck-
bring into mouth by vacuum-like action
larvae-
the immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect
shed-
to remove, to dispose of, take off
molting-
to shed skin that is replaced with new growth

Full transcript