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Hanging on by a Hair

This little guy is a curly hair tarantula at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion. Native to Central America, these spiders’ unusually tiny hairs serve as both a distinguishing feature and as a defense mechanism. When threatened, they will kick hairs off of their abdomen, blinding predators in pursuit. Nocturnal by nature, these creatures have poor eyesight, relying instead on receptors at the ends of their legs that can sense smell, taste and vibration. Unfortunately, habitat loss leaves the future of the species in jeopardy.