Tarantulas are nighttime hunters who will pounce on their prey.
What do they look like?
Take any old spider; you have the round body with 8 prickly legs coming out of it. Some may say the tarantula is a scarier version of a typical spider but if you look closely they won’t seem that spooky. This spider has a fuzzy body and legs just like us. Like a lot of spiders they have eight eyes but doesn’t even use them that much, they will use vibrations to sense prey.
What animal class are they?
They are in the arachnid animal class group. (Arachnids are creatures with two body segments, eight legs, no wings or antennae and are not able to chew)
Where do they come from?
Tarantulas are found in the rainforests and jungles of South and Central America, in Africa and in the southern part of North America. Many live in burrows underground. They will either use their fangs to dig them or else take someone else’s burrow-home.
What do they eat?
Depending on the size of them depends on the size of the prey they can eat. Smaller spiders can eat bugs such as crickets, grasshoppers, sow bugs, caterpillars and beetles. A big tarantula can eat smaller spiders, lizards, snakes, bats, toads, frogs and mice
Is a Tarantula on a good pet?
Tarantulae don’t need a lot of space and are fascinating to look at. However, if you want a pet that you can hold they may not be your best option, as they can get aggressive. The most recommended tarantula spider for holding is a Chilean Rose (Meet our Chilean Rose tarantula – http://animal-club.co.uk/meet-our-animals/) Though, we don’t let people take our Chilean rose out due to percussion wise
How do you look after them?
– The habitat does not need bright lights but rather should be kept in a darker area of a room where direct sunlight will not fall on the cage. Small iridescent pads should be placed under a small corner of the page allowing it to heat slightly for the spider.
– To make sure the spider is in the right humidity a shallow water dish in the cage and misting once a week is necessary.
– The cage should not need cleaning frequently unless you see mould growing once per week is necessary.
– They should be fed crickets a few times a week.
-However, these furry spiders are famous for their venom and if they feel threatened they will shoot little hairs which will make your skin very irritant. Therefore you must be careful and think hard before investing in a pet tarantula.
A good place to get a spider while helping out a charity is through – https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet/rehomeapet
Questions for the class (skip read the text above to find the answers):
1)What differs a tarantula from an average spider
2)What animal class are they?
3)What is the biggest animal a tarantula may eat?
4)Where are they native to?
5)Would you recommend a pet tarantula to someone who has never had a pet before? (why?)
6)How often should you clean their cage?
7) When do tarantulas hunt?
8)What is the best breed as a pet?
9)What do tarantula’s eat?
10) If you had one as a pet, what would you call it?
When Animal Club come to your school, party or extra curriculum event we will most likely bring along our tarantula. Though we will not get it out of the box you can stroke it from the open top lid container and have a 360 view of it in its transparent box.