Tarantulas are mygalomorphs (suborder Orthognatha), and thus they have jaws that move forward and down (rather than sideways and together, which is characteristic of araneomorphs [suborder Labidognatha]). Tarantulas are distinguished from other mygalomorphs by a collection of traits that include not only their size and hairiness but also their two pairs of book lungs and their three-segmented spinnerets. While the behaviour of tarantulas can vary, many make burrows in soil and feed mainly at night on insects and occasionally small frogs, toads, and mice. Theraphosids are generally harmless to humans, although they can inflict painful bites if provoked. They are often kept as pets.
In the southwestern United States, species of the genus Aphonopelma can attain a body length up to 5 cm (almost 2 inches) and a leg span up to 12.5 cm (almost 5 inches). The spiders, dark in colour and sluggish in movement, have a hairy body and hairy legs. The most common member of that genus is A. californicum (Eurypelma californicum; sometimes E. californica), which is found in California, Texas, and Arizona. A 30-year life span has been recorded for one individual of that species.
The largest species of tarantulas are found in South America and belong to the genus Theraphosa. The goliath bird-eating spider (T. leblondi or T. blondi) has a body length up to 7.5 cm (almost 3 inches) and in rare instances has been known to capture and eat small avian prey. Both the pinkfoot goliath (T. apophysis) and the goliath bird-eating spider can attain leg spans of about 30 cm (12 inches). The pinkfoot is distinguished by its pale pink feet, which fade when the spider molts.
The name tarantula was originally given to the wolf spider, Lycosa tarentula, of southern Europe and was derived from the town of Taranto, Italy. The bite of L. tarentula was once thought to cause a disease known as tarantism, in which the victim wept and skipped about before going into a wild dance (see tarantella). It has been shown, however, that the bite of L. tarentula is not dangerous to humans and that no ill effects can be attributed to it. The body of L. tarentula is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. Like other wolf spiders, it spins no web but catches its prey by pursuit.
Other spiders belonging to the same family as the New World tarantulas are the monkey spiders of Africa and the bird-eating spiders of Australia and New Guinea. Trap-door spiders and the dangerous funnel-web spider of Australia are also related to the theraphosids as members of Orthognatha.
Thanks to BBC EARTH for the Amazing Tarantula GIFS:
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William Shakespeare is often credited with having a profound influence on language, literature, theater, and other elements of culture. It would not be difficult to argue that we owe most of modern storytelling’s characteristics to Shakespeare. Theater has never been the same since his plays’ first performances, and Shakespeare’s influence can be noted in everything from contemporary dialogue to expectations of audience behavior. It’s been asserted by historians that the circulation of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a bound collection of his plays that was published posthumously, began to solidify his role as one of the most important figures in history. He’s the most highly regarded dramatist in the world, and Shakespeare’s influence is just as pronounced today as it was centuries ago.
I have discovered Amazon is deleting valid reviews for no reason. Four of my reviews that were on Amazon USA were deleted yesterday. Amazon is not giving any reason as to why they are deleting valid reviews. They do not care and their review policy is unprofessional. I recently had a FREE Amazon Giveaway of all my books from May 2-6, so I can pray those reviews are valid.
This is unsettling as reviews are important to indie authors. Also, Amazon is also not allowing anyone to leave reviews outside of their own country anymore, so authors will be receiving less exposure for their books worldwide since Amazon does not rollover reviews.
I have sent Amazon emails about this issue and they have not been helpful. If you wake up one day and discover reviews of your book have mysteriously disappeared, this is most likely the reason why.
If you have left a review on Goodreads, which Amazon also owns, I would appreciate it if you would paste your review to Amazon and vice-versa. Thanks for your kind support and wishing you all the best.
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