However, not everyone has an inherent fear of tarantulas, and they are really not as fearsome as people would like to believe. For their large size they are really fast runners, especially when they are running away from something scaring them. Their bite will not kill humans (unless you are allergic to them), and for most of the time they hang out hiding in their webs on the ground. Tarantulas can be found in lots of places across the world, but mostly in desert areas and the tropics. Because they also can be fairly attractive spiders, ranging from pink haired ones to blue, they can also be popular pets. They mostly feed on insects, though some larger spiders in the Old-World tropics have been recorded catching birds and other vertebrates!
Here in Oklahoma, though, the native tarantulas are mostly brown. This past weekend I was in Black Mesa with the Mammalogy department and found this male tarantula crawling around looking for a female spider. In the fall many male spiders go out in a massive "migration" to look for females.
|Male tarantula from Black Mesa. You can tell its a male because of the "fat" pair of structures that look like legs in front of its head area, called the pedipalps.|
|Smaller, female tarantula from Costa Rica. Note the darker coloration of the "head" (cephalothorax) area|
If you'd like more information about tarantulas, check out this nice fact sheet! Have a good one everyone!