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This Fiery Spider Is Facing a Grim Future

Native to Mexico, the Fireleg Tarantula gets its name from a rich red hue that runs along its legs. True to its name, this spider can get quite fiery if provoked. When feeling threatened, it shoots out its urticating hairs, which causes irritation and a burning sensation to predators. Found in small burrows in the ground­—normally the abandoned homes of rodents and lizards—this spider’s existence is now, unfortunately, under threat. The illegal pet trade combined with ongoing destruction of its natural habitat is leaving this fiery tarantula’s future uncertain.


This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants

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