Biology Day- Part 2

I have a fear of spiders.  Putting that aside, I married my husband anyway.  No, he’s not a spider.  But, he has one- a tarantula named Abbey.  And, when we got married, I thought it would be ok.  Since little animals like hamsters and guinea pigs don’t live long, this would be about the same.

I should have paid better attention in biology class!  6 years later, I now know the tarantula will probably outlive me!  They usually live at least 50 years.

What I have learned is that tarantula’s shed thier exoskeleton about every 2 years.  We know when she is going to do this because she stops eating and drinking for a month and gets a black spot on her back.  This is to make herself smaller so she can shed the skin.  Then, finally she goes into a state where she seems paralized and then she comes out of the exoskeleton.  It looks like there are 2 tarantula’s in the cage!  (Not a pretty picture for me!) 

A few weeks ago, we came home after being out for an evening.  My son went to his room to go to bed and came out seconds later exclaiming that Abbey was dead.  He was pretty upset.  My husband went in and realized she was about to shed.  She was in her paralyzed state.  So, later that night she shed her skin.  My husband got some pictures during this process and then the next day.  So, for all of you spider lovers, here you go.  I’m not sure how long this blog will last because just looking at these pictures creeps me out!  But, for the sake of science, learning, and homeschooling, I’m going to try leaving it on here!

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The actual spider is on top and her exoskeleton is underneath

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The actual spider is on the left.  This is my husband’s personal favorite because if you look really close you can see her fangs.  (Isn’t that a lovely thought?)  It looks kind of like white rice.  At this point they hadn’t yet completely hardened. 

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You may notice a slight difference in the color of the tarantula and exoskeleton.  this is not a lighting issue.  The tarantula comes out looking very shiny and black.

So, there is my addition to science.  I’ve had about enough spider talk as I can take.  By the way, if anyone is wondering, no, I NEVER look at the thing!  Writing this is about as much as I’ve ever looked at the thing.

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Explore posts in the same categories: exoskeleton, shedding exoskeleton, spider, tarantula

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