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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Texas Brown Tarantula...

In April, Parker found a tarantula in our backyard. It was the "prettiest" and "fluffiest" tarantula that I have ever seen.

Taken by this prize specimen of a spider, Parker and I spent the greater part of a Saturday morning taking pictures and playing with the spider. In fact, I believe that Parker took most of the photographs himself.




Parker carried it to different locations. We put it on rocks, moss, grass... You name it. We had a great time with this gentle giant.



At the time, I had thought that the tarantula's calm demeanor and deliberate activities were due to the chilled air that we were experiencing. However, after doing some reading about the Texas Brown Tarantula I have discovered that it is the most docile of the giant spiders and can make a good pet. It is also known as the Desert Tarantula.

I did not want to keep the spider in captivity. I thought that it was such a peaceful and beautiful specimen that it should live on to produce others like it. It's amazing to think that a tarantula has to live almost ten years before it is sexually mature enough to reproduce. Another unbelievable statistic is that the tarantula can live up to 25 years! I have also read some reports that they can live up to 40 years in captivity. Deciding to have a tarantula for a pet would certainly carry the weight of a long term responsibility.



If you look closely at the above picture you can see the tarantula's four eyes. You can click on the picture to see a larger image.



This spider was very, very large.



It is still amazing how this spider didn't seem to mind our "manipulations".



It allowed us to lift its legs and nearly turn it completely over.





Just so that we could see its fangs! Is that cool or what?!

There are a lot of people who kill these spiders. But they aren't venomous, and tarantulas are really good to have around because they hunt and eat big bugs like grasshoppers.


So... this is another one of our latest and greatest finds in our backyard here in the Texas Hill Country.

BUT...

You ain't seen nothin' yet! Wait 'til I post pictures of our latest backyard discovery!

later...


My daughter has changed one of this tarantula's photographs into an artistic design that has been placed on t-shirts and bags. You can find the items here.

And if you decide to buy something, well, we thank you in advance!!



Texas Brown Tarantula Fact Sheet


The Basics of Having a Pet Tarantula


University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Aphonopelma chalcodes

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