Baboon Spider (tarantula)

This tarantula was caught down in the Rift Valley by one of Meredith’s students, and was lovingly given to her as a pet. She was thrilled, sort of.  Leg to leg it is about 4 inches wide.  The scientific name is Pterinochilus chordatus, but as for common names, I found many, most of which contain Baboon Spider or Starburst Baboon Spider.  This is a sought after spider in the tarantula market, but as one webite put it, it is not a pet for beginners.  It is very defensive and agitates easily.  If you poke it with a stick it immediately raises the front legs and displays its fangs.  Its venom is mildly toxic, and it can also deliver a deep wound to the victim.  I wish you could see it eat.  It rips up its food in a most undignified fashion.

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