can tarantulas...

Tarantula Lover

Psalmopoeus Lover
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Jul 21, 2002
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Well yesterday, I was looking at my Trinidad Chevron, and it started climbing, I yelled to my sister to see him, right when I yelled, the T ran right back to the cork. My question is can tarantulas hear or smell? Thanks,

James
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
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Jul 19, 2002
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They can't hear like we do. Most likely what happened was the T felt the vibration of your voice throughout it's enclosure and was startled.


Atrax
 

Steve Nunn

Arachnoprince
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Aug 30, 2002
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Originally posted by Tarantula Lover
Well yesterday, I was looking at my Trinidad Chevron, and it started climbing, I yelled to my sister to see him, right when I yelled, the T ran right back to the cork. My question is can tarantulas hear or smell? Thanks,

James
Hi James,
Like was previously stated, tarantulas can pick up on tiny vibrations, they do this via special hairs (setae) located on strategic parts of the body. They are called sensory setae and are concentrated on the tarsal scopula and femora (trichobothria). The trichobothria work in a 'ball and socket' action and are amazingly sensitive, particularly to air movement.

They can do what might be considered 'smelling' via more setae called chemoreceptors (chemoreceptive setae), which pick up on various scents in the air, or on the ground.

FYI, the third type of setae on a tarantula are mechanical setae and have a purely physical use, such as the setae located in the tarsal scopula that help the T to climb glass. Another type of mechanical setae are the urticatious setae which a new world tarantula will shed if harrassed.

These setae are the senses (and sometimes defensive tools)for a tarantula, so each and every hair you see on your spiders serves a specific purpose, amazing stuff indeed. Just as we have nerves under our skin, the tarantula has nerves outside it's exoskeleton (setae) and this is why tarantulas are so 'hairy'.

Hope this helps,
Steve
 
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