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The tarantula is a large, hairy spider found in tropical to temperate regions of the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, South America, southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Tarantulas can go up to 4 inches in body size, and have a leg span of up to 12 inches.

Like other arachnids, the tarantula has eight legs, arranged in four pairs. It also has another pair of appendages used for feeling and gripping prey. The tarantula has two fangs used to inject venom into its prey, or in defense against predators. Tarantulas prefer to hunt at night. They will lay a web, but not to catch their prey. They lay strands of web on the ground to act as a trip wire. When an insect, frog, toad or mouse steps on the strand, alerting the tarantula, it will pounce on the unsuspecting victim.

Although many people find the tarantula scary, it is generally harmless to humans. They will not bite unless provoked, and if bitten the pain is usually similar to that of a bee sting. Some tarantulas have even become a popular pet. Play the following videos to learn more about the tarantula.

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