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Tarantulas comprise a group of large and often hairy arachnids belonging to the Theraphosidae family of spiders, of which about 900 species have been identified. This article only describes members of the Theraphosidae, although some other members of the same infraorder (Mygalomorphae) are commonly referred to as "tarantulas". Some species have become popular in the exotic pet trade. New World species kept as pets have urticating hairs that can cause irritation to the skin and, in extreme cases, damage to eyes.

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My Orange Bitey Thing

This is my female Orange Bitey Thing (OBT) - scientific name: Pterinochilus murinus. I have had her for about three years and she is one of my favorite tarantulas to own. She is extremely aggressive and will often "rear up" exposing her fangs when I put her food in her cage. While she is in defensive mode, you can literally hear her hissing at you and it is pretty terrifying. Some of my other tarantulas are not always interested in eating right away, but my OBT is always ready for food and sometimes eats 2 or 3 crickets at the same time!

Contributed by Virginia Loupe

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