Tantalizing Tarantula Facts

By Mike Servedio and Carolyn Belardo

How much do you really know about tarantulas? Probably not as much as you think.

You’ll learn a whole lot by visiting the Academy’s current exhibit Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close which features nearly 20 species of live tarantulas of all sizes, shapes and colors. And our educators are ready in the exhibit to answer all your questions.

But we thought you might want to impress your friends and family right now with these fun facts about the creepy creatures. You can purchase your tickets to the exhibit online now by visiting the exhibit page.

Here’s what you need to know:


Spiders are arachnids and have 8 legs, like scorpions and ticks.


There are over 43,000 species of spiders.


Fossil spiders have been found that are over 300 million years old


There is only one species of herbivorous spider; all the rest are carnivorous predators.


Spiders have elaborate courtship rituals, partially to distract the females from eating the males before they mate!


There are 900 species of tarantulas.


Tarantulas range from the size of a fingernail to the size of a dinner plate.


All tarantulas can produce silk, which they use to line their burrows.


Tarantulas are considered a delicacy in some cultures, where they are roasted and consumed.


Tarantulas have tiny hairs on their body that they will kick off at predators.

Female tarantulas lay between 50 and 2000 eggs and will fiercely protect her egg sac.


Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close is on view through May 30, 2016.


Photos by Mike Servedio/ANS

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