Interesting Facts About Chilean Rose-haired Tarantula

Interesting Facts About Chilean Rose-haired Tarantula
Image Source:: "Grammostola cf. porteri adult male" by Viki - Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons  http://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/ File: Grammostola_cf._porteri_adult_male.jpg#/media/File:Grammostola_cf._porteri_adult_male.jpg 

[  Also known as the Chilean Rose, the Chilean Common, the Chilean Fire, and the Chilean Flame, Chiliean Redback, Chilean red-haired tarantula.  ]

1. An attractive animal, the Rose Hair Tarantula, also known as the Chilean Rose Tarantula, is one of the most popular terrarium pets. It is relatively large, with a leg span reaching up to five inches, and colorful; its dark body is covered with fine pink or reddish orange hairs.

2. Rose hair tarantulas are from the deserts of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

3. This species dig burrows to hide away from the hot sun of the day and then comes out at night to hunt.

4. Tarantulas are invertebrate arachnids. Arachnids are terrestrial arthropods, which have simple eyes and four pairs of legs. Scorpions, ticks and mites are also arachnids.

5. Tarantulas are members of the spider family. There are over 800 kinds in many colors. They have eight eyes, and are active at night. Females tend to be larger and live longer than males.

6. These arachnids range in color from brown to reddish brown or pink. They reach their adult size at 3 to 4 years of age. The female is generally stockier than the male.

7. This tarantula has a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton) and 8 jointed legs. The exterior of the body is covered by long, bristle-like hairs. There is a smaller pair of sensory appendages called pedipalps. They have 8 eyes, 2 fangs, and are venomous (poisonous).

8. Most spiders have eight eyes, some have more and some have less. The Chilean rose tarantula has two large eyes in the centre and three small eyes on each side.

9. This species does not burrow, instead it finds a sheltered area to web itself into after a night of hunting.

10. Their digestive system is designed to deal with liquid food only. Their venom interferes with the prey’s nervous system  or by breaking down the body’s tissues . To digest its prey, it vomits a mixture of digestive enzymes onto its food, breaking the tissue down into a liquid that can then be sucked up through the spider’s mouth parts. Spider droppings consist mostly of uric acid crystals and are usually dry and chalk-like. 

11. Hairs on the abdomen have been modified to serve as defense weapons. They possess sharp tips with microscopic barbs. When threatened, the tarantula will use its back legs to kick off a cloud of hairs at its attacker.

12. In most tarantula species the female will live for twenty years or more, but the male may survive only the few years required to reach maturity. Once the male has fulfilled the biological function of mating, it usually will die of natural causes or the female may eat him. The male’s lifespan is further shortened by the stress of captivity.

13. All tarantulas have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this species,  some people may be allergic to its venom, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons why people should not handle this tarantula.

14. The rose-haired tarantula is one of the hardiest species of tarantula.  Although it has a reputation for being docile (calm), it varies widely from individual to individual. They may become nippy.

15. The diet consists of mostly large insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles and roaches; will also eat smaller tarantulas and other spiders, frogs, and baby mice

16. Some of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon actually make an "omelet" out of tarantula eggs and eat them; some humans even eat the adult tarantulas. The young spiders are preyed upon by birds, reptiles, and amphibians. 

17. Tarantulas rely on their sensory hairs for hunting; the thick, hairy covering of the body (about 1 million per spider) is extremely sensitive to vibration. The molting process replaces the hairy coat as well as allowing for the growth of the spider.

18. Chilean rose-haired spiders are very docile and calm. They are extremely handleable and do not flick their abdomen hairs easily. Their venom is very mild, and they are highly unlikely to bite.

19. Scientists believe some tarantulas can detect insect prey from vibrations or movement over 60 cm away.

20. In the past some itching powders contained the urticating hairs of tarantulas.

21. Fossil records suggest spiders have been around for at least 300 million years.

22. Tarantulas have blue blood.

23. Each leg of the eight legs on a tarantula has seven joints and thirty muscles.

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