The Tarantula by Miriam Poulton
Containing the world’s largest spiders, the tarantula family is split into one hundred and thirteen genera and eight hundred and ninety seven species. They are generally very large and hairy, and in recent years have become popular pets. They are found in most tropical and desert climates around the world. The name tarantula originally comes from the town of Taranto in Italy, where it was originally used for the wolf spider, an unrelated species. They are also called, in various places around the world, baboon spiders, earth tigers, bird-eating spiders, barking spiders and whistling spiders. Like all spiders, the tarantula is an invertebrate and has an exoskeleton which it relies on for support. It has eight legs and eight semi-functional eyes. It has three main parts, the head, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Click here to download the full article (.pdf format 351KB).