These hairiest spiders are found in the southwestern United States, Mexica, and Tropical America. They have three-segmented spinnerets and are often called burrowers.
They are believed to be harmless to human beings as none of them are found to be extremely venomous towards us. There is no record of anyone being killed by a tarantula but they do inflict painful bites if provoked and are often kept as pets.
The name tarantula was derived from the town of Taranto, Italy.
The bite of Lycosa Tarentula was thought to cause a disease known as tarantism, in which the victim was believed to do a wild dance. However, it was later known that the bite of L. tarantula is not dangerous to humans. The Goliath bird-eating spider is the largest species of tarantula that is known to date.
The silk-like web formations do not help them to catch their prey. They like to prey like cats and are known to ambush the prey of double their size.
They are nocturnal and hunt at the night hours when the world is deep asleep.
They form a silk-like web that trails all the way inside its burrow which acts as an alert call when the prey is near its area.
The hairy body with a strong neurological sense makes them detect the possible vibrations produced by them.
How do tarantulas eat? The prey once detected is then attacked by them by literally pouncing on them. The prey is grabbed with their front legs and the venom is injected inside its body which paralyzes their prey. The fangs are then utilized to kill its prey and inject the digestive enzyme which liquefies the body as they cannot consume solid food. Some species of tarantulas are known to kill the prey without injecting them with their venom.
Do tarantulas have teeth?
Most of the scientists believe they (tarantulas) have serrated edges on their mandibles which helps them to crush the exoskeleton of its prey. They literally slurp their food rather than chewing them.
The act of preying is a very fascinating one to watch as the creature so small can sometimes aim to prey on frogs, lizards, and mice.
The tarantulas do not suck their food through their fangs, they do it with their mouth. The food being sucked through its fangs was a common misconception that was later solved by scientists. The mouth is designed to suck up the liquid and isn’t designed for chewing at all.
The act of digestion
The digestive enzymes of the tarantula help it to digest its prey which is significantly larger than itself. The stomach of the tarantula works like a pump as it contains strong muscles.
The liquid food is sucked up like a vacuum and the stomach expands more and more to accommodate the food. The food is then stored in sacks and pouches that can hold the food before it is properly digested and turned into a source of energy for the whole body. This helps the tarantula to have a potential source of stored energy which results in surviving long enough without eating anything.