Fun Facts About Tarantulas

PHILADELPHIA, December 21, 2015

Tarantulas are large, hairy-looking, quick-witted, fierce predators. They can be scary-looking, but they also possess a unique beauty, and scientists continue to make new discoveries about them. Here are some quick facts about tarantulas to keep in mind when visiting Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close, on view Jan. 30 through May 30 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

  • Tarantulas are spiders, and spiders are arachnids.
  • There are some 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.
  • Some people in South America roast tarantulas and eat them.
  • Tarantulas have tiny hairs on their body that they kick off when threatened.
  • The Goliath bird-eating tarantula is the largest spider on Earth.
  • Tarantulas are among the most fearsome predators. All tarantulas are venomous, but most are quite docile.
  • Some, like the Goliath bird-eating tarantula, inflict fatal bites with venomous fangs.
  • Habitat destruction and the effects of pesticides are threats to some tarantula populations.
  • Scientists aren’t sure why some tarantulas are an amazing shade of blue, National Geographic reports.

News Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215-299-1043

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.