2. They’re usually big and hairy and scary-looking.
3. Yeah, they have venom, but so far no bite has ever been known to cause death in humans, although some species can cause intense pain/spasms and, in the case of at least one kind, hallucinations. (A very 1960s kind of spider, that.)
4. The oldest fossil that is thought to be a tarantula is only about 16,000,000 years old. (Hey, age is relative.)
5. Although the predator most often associated with these arachnids is called a tarantula hawk, it is not a hawk but a wasp with a fondness for hairy, yucky-looking venomous spiders. (Eye of the beholder, you know.)
6. The hair on many (though not all) tarantulas is protective; it is very sharp and can irritate, or in some cases, kill potential predators. (No baby soft hair conditioners for tarantulas, thank you.)
7. Tarantula was the name taken by a minor DC Comics hero of the 1940s who had no super powers but did have a moderately cool costume that enabled him to walk up walls.
8. Most North American tarantulas are basically brown, but in other parts of the world they can be such colors as cobalt blue, black and white or striped with yellow. (The brown palette would have made them popular in the 1970s, although one hopes they refrained from adding wide lapels just to fit in.)
9. The tarantula’s heart is powered by nerve cells rather than by muscle cells. And it’s shaped like a tube. (Some species just gotta be different.)
10. Their home? They prefer to burrow into the ground. Whatever makes them happy.