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Word Count: 979
Tarantulas are found in dry well drained soil all over the world They are the biggest of spiders They have eight legs are often hairy and have two big fangs There are over 800 species of tarantulas known to man Some are dull brown while others can be brightly colored The sizes range from as small as a fingernail to as big as a dinner plate The tarantula also sometimes called the bird spider and monkey spider is a well known arachnid They belong to the kingdom animalia the phyla arthropoda the subphyla chelicerata and the order araneae They are known for their venomous bite or so people think Actually the tarantulas bite is rarely harmful to humans but paralyzes or kills its prey once injected The tarantula may be cannibalistic and feed on a variety of things These things include other tarantulas small birds crickets frogs snakes beetles lizards and even bats Most spiders are known for there intricate webs they build or the way they jump to catch their prey The tarantula is on the other hand a nocturnal predator and doesnt do these things They use their strength and stealth to trap their prey They sneak up on their prey quietly and then pounce on it like a cat and bite them to inject their deadly venom Once the prey has been captured they use their fangs to carry it to their dens When the tarantula is ready to eat its meal it inserts digestive juices into it Then the juices break down the tissues so that the tarantula may slurp it The growth process of a tarantula is similar to other spiders This is because like most other the tarantula must shed their exoskeleton periodically This process is known as molting As a young tarantula they may perform the process of molting several times a year whereas a full grown tarantula will only molt to replace lost
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