Tarantula care

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Updated: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm Published: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm

If you want a pet that's different, a tarantula is as different as they come. Okay, they're furry, but that's about all they have in common with Fido or Fluffy. There's that little matter of the extra legs. But if you don't want a pet that fetches or does tricks, a tarantula can definitely be interesting. There are two basic types: arboreal (are-BORE-ee-ul) tree climbers or burrowers. For climbing species, provide a branch or two in the terrarium. Burrowers will require a hiding hole of some sort. Half a broken flower pot usually works well. Line the bottom of the terrarium with peat moss or vermiculite (ver-MICK-you-lite). Either of these will provide the soft, moist environment tarantulas prefer. Avoid covering the top with screens that the spider's legs can get caught in. Your tarantula supplier should be able to advise you about the proper type of enclosure. Let your tarantula get to know you gradually. Stroke it gently and pick it up with a gradual scooping motion. If you frighten it, it may bite. Tarantulas may look scary, but their bite isn't dangerous. Finally, if you don't mind uf your pet crawls on you, you probably won't mind feeding it. Just find a good source of live crickets.

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