Bird-eating spider

Bird-eating spider

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Credit: NIGEL DOWNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bird-eating spider (Lasiodora parahybana). Bird-eating spiders are some of the largest species of tarantula (family Theraphosidae). Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They mainly live on trees or in burrows in the soil, generally emerging at night to feed. Their diet may include insects, amphibians, mice and even small birds. Many are long-lived; whilst the lifespan of a male tarantula is usually between 5 and 7 years, the females of some species can live for up to 35 years. Tarantula bites are usually painful, but rarely fatal, to humans.

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