Pet store Presentation for Tarantulas this Sat.

Tarangela

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
519
Hey all!

Just thought I would share, and get some helpful info if anyone has ever done this before.

This coming Sat. there will be people w/ their exotic animals at a locally owned pet store for a 1 year anniversary. I was asked to bring some of my Tarantulas, and some of my hermit crabs. So I plan on doing this! I am really excited about helping inform the public a little better about spiders.
They really need the good press!

I don't plan on letting anyone hold any animal I bring. I hope to not stress any of them out by bringing them to the store.

If anyone has ever done anything like this, or has any info to share, tips, ect.
Please let me know!

I hope this is in the right forum! :eek:
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
2,153
When I did it, I tried not to get into too much depth on any particular subject unless they asked and just followed the format of one of the tarantula books I had. I also had a few rough drawlings of basic tarantula anatamy to show. A big focus for some of my group was where they were from and what they ate. I really enjoyed it when I did it because of a little girl that was so excited about it, she had her dad promise to buy her one. It made it all worth while and I'm planning on doing it again soon. Let me know how it goes and let me know if I can help any more. Good luck.
 

Tarangela

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
519
Hey Tarangela....where are you in Va?
Martinsville :)

When I did it, I tried not to get into too much depth on any particular subject unless they asked and just followed the format of one of the tarantula books I had. I also had a few rough drawlings of basic tarantula anatamy to show. A big focus for some of my group was where they were from and what they ate. I really enjoyed it when I did it because of a little girl that was so excited about it, she had her dad promise to buy her one. It made it all worth while and I'm planning on doing it again soon. Let me know how it goes and let me know if I can help any more. Good luck.
That sounds like a great idea!! I agree about not going into depth. Most just have basic questions. I am pretty nervous, but excited at the same time :)

I will print out some stuff on their anatomy. I know that is important. I hope I can bring spiders some good press. I haven't decided which species to bring yet!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
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Dec 13, 2004
Messages
2,997
I have done many presentations over the years though mine were primary given at schools. Are you actually giving a presentation or are you one of many people set there exhibiting your animals similar to an exhibition type environment? If you are doing a formal presentation I would recommend putting something together in PowerPoint, concentrating on lots of pictures of a variety of species. (Always get permission to use photos when they are not yours.) Topics you want to cover include types of tarantulas (arboreal, terrestrial), differences between old world and new world tarantulas, defense mechanisms, mating, how to tell the sexes apart, life span, the molting process and common myths and misconceptions.

If you are simply going to be at a table, have some posters with pictures on them. If you can get pictures of various types of activities (mating, threat display, molting, etc.), all the better. Be prepared to answer questions on the topics listed above. Don't be afraid to try and "educate" someone if they seem interested and are willing to listen. One good way to keep things going here is to ask leading questions. People always seem to enjoy seeing exuvium, so if you have some definitely take them with you.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
8,328
well, this isn't specifically tarantula related, but more a suggestion for anyone teaching anyone else anything...

don't be afraid to tell someone you don't know the answer to their question. i wanted to strangle tutors that were obviously making something up because they were too embarassed to tell the tutee that they didn't know.




also, people seem to get a kick out of the ~40 years reasonable expected lifespan of a thin-to-normal fed G. rosea.
 

Heather

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
179
I'm not sure what to suggest on the Spiders... I'm still pretty new and have never done anything like that.

But the Crabs I can help out a little.

I would take a few of the extra natural shells and if you have any painted ones, take one of those and explain why they are bad. Let them feel the difference between nice preferred shell and the less desirable ones. Give them the info on the importance of humidity, temps, friends and the proper enclosures. Maybe bring several differnent species if you have some (PP's, Rugs, Straws, Cavs, E's) or show some pics of the different ones. Remind people that they are nocturnal, that they love to climb and need both fresh and salt water....

I would certainly suggest a hands off policy to enusre no one gets hurt and the crabbies don't get stressed out.

Good Luck and congrats on being invited to teach the public about both of these extremely amazing critters!
 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Dec 13, 2004
Messages
2,997
Here are some additional things you can take with you for visual aids. I usually bring my "tools of the trade". Kids always love my high tech wrangling tools which consist of a 20 oz soda bottle with the bottom cut off and a plastic straw. If you have long forceps take those too. It always helps to have something with you that is between ten and twelve inches long because it helps people visualize just how big a full sized T. blondi or T. apophysis can be. One last thing to bring is a flash light. This helps when you are showing the tarantulas up close to anyone because it helps to bring out the colors. Store lighting will probably not be very bright.
 

Tarangela

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
519
Cool! I go right through there almost every other weekend when I get my kids. Does your petstore have a pretty good selection? I might have to make a pit stop next time through! :rolleyes:
Well, the store is actually in Rocky Mount. I can give you directions in a PM if you are really interested. Tell me what you are interested in before you go though....

I have done many presentations over the years though mine were primary given at schools. Are you actually giving a presentation or are you one of many people set there exhibiting your animals similar to an exhibition type environment? If you are doing a formal presentation I would recommend putting something together in PowerPoint, concentrating on lots of pictures of a variety of species. (Always get permission to use photos when they are not yours.) Topics you want to cover include types of tarantulas (arboreal, terrestrial), differences between old world and new world tarantulas, defense mechanisms, mating, how to tell the sexes apart, life span, the molting process and common myths and misconceptions.

If you are simply going to be at a table, have some posters with pictures on them. If you can get pictures of various types of activities (mating, threat display, molting, etc.), all the better. Be prepared to answer questions on the topics listed above. Don't be afraid to try and "educate" someone if they seem interested and are willing to listen. One good way to keep things going here is to ask leading questions. People always seem to enjoy seeing exuvium, so if you have some definitely take them with you.
Thanks Windchaser!

The last real presentation I did was at a local middle school. I would rather have younger students, b/c high schoolers make me a little more nervous.....

You are more on to what I am doing, there will be other people there exhibiting their animals as well. Snakes, a guy w/ a falcon, things of this nature. I am bringing my own table. That way, I don't have to worry about not having enough room, or setting something on the floor.

I do have a lot of pics, which are ones I have taken over the years, and other things printed out that I used at the middle school. I was going to use those items. I do have some molt skins to bring with me as well :)

I'm not sure what to suggest on the Spiders... I'm still pretty new and have never done anything like that.

But the Crabs I can help out a little.

I would take a few of the extra natural shells and if you have any painted ones, take one of those and explain why they are bad. Let them feel the difference between nice preferred shell and the less desirable ones. Give them the info on the importance of humidity, temps, friends and the proper enclosures. Maybe bring several differnent species if you have some (PP's, Rugs, Straws, Cavs, E's) or show some pics of the different ones. Remind people that they are nocturnal, that they love to climb and need both fresh and salt water....

I would certainly suggest a hands off policy to enusre no one gets hurt and the crabbies don't get stressed out.

Good Luck and congrats on being invited to teach the public about both of these extremely amazing critters!

Thanks for the info on the crabs :D I do have some painted shells, and plan on bringing some of those. All of my crabs have finally given up their painted
shells, and are now in natural ones. The only thing I worry a little about, is that the pet store sells the crabs in painted shells, and I hate to cause an issue, or convince someone not to buy a crab b/c it has a painted shell.

The species I have right now are Rugs, PPs, E's, and Straws :) I plan on getting an Indo in the summer :) I was thinking of bringing one of each. I really hope the crabbers don't stress on me. W/ the temp and humidity changes and all for that whole day.

I agree on talking about the importance of salt/fresh water, and the climbing.
Setting up a tank for hermit crabs takes time, and it isn't just thrown together. Temps and humidity gauges are important as well. I will have to make sure those are brought up. I printed out a lot of stuff from a website, and I received permission: www.thecrabbagepatch.com

I also don't plan on letting anyone hold any crab or spider. Not wanting to take that chance :)

Here are some additional things you can take with you for visual aids. I usually bring my "tools of the trade". Kids always love my high tech wrangling tools which consist of a 20 oz soda bottle with the bottom cut off and a plastic straw. If you have long forceps take those too. It always helps to have something with you that is between ten and twelve inches long because it helps people visualize just how big a full sized T. blondi or T. apophysis can be. One last thing to bring is a flash light. This helps when you are showing the tarantulas up close to anyone because it helps to bring out the colors. Store lighting will probably not be very bright.

Windchaser,

I didn't plan on bringing my T. blondi. I am just to worried, and didn't want to stress her out. She is the only one I have left, and I don't want to chance an accident. She can be a little tough to handle sometimes. She is the only one I have that actually still makes my heart skip a pace or 2. I do have some of her recent molts though, and I planned on bringing those along,
so they could see the size :)

I never thought about a flash light! That is a grea idea! I will do that :)

Not sure which ones to bring though. I thought about a Mex. Redknee, Chaco Golden Knee, and maybe a Pinktoe. Those aren't agressive and they don't freak out to easy....I have handled the Chaco many times. Not sure what all to bring though. I don't want to have too much stuff there, or chance any accidents....

These ideas have been great so far :) Thanks so much :cool:
 

Binky/Carol

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
137
I know you are very excited about this.. BUT please take the outside temperatures into account when you are moving your T's from your home to the store and back again.
Please take whatever tank set ups OR temp habitats you are going to have them in.. TO the store a day or so ahead of time, so that the tank is at room temperature.
Pack them in a styrofoam box with a heat pack to be safe.
And warm up your car ahead of time, both going and leaving the store.
I would hate for you to do a good thing and loose a T or a crab to the incliment weather.
Just my two cents worth
Carol
 

Tarangela

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
519
I know you are very excited about this.. BUT please take the outside temperatures into account when you are moving your T's from your home to the store and back again.
Please take whatever tank set ups OR temp habitats you are going to have them in.. TO the store a day or so ahead of time, so that the tank is at room temperature.
Pack them in a styrofoam box with a heat pack to be safe.
And warm up your car ahead of time, both going and leaving the store.
I would hate for you to do a good thing and loose a T or a crab to the incliment weather.
Just my two cents worth
Carol
This is something that has crossed my mind. However, I don't like the idea of taking a few of my animals and leaving them at the pet store over night while I am not there. If something happened, I would be distraught. Not saying I don't trust the place....I just don't want something crazy to happen.

It is a little chilly here, so I will have to watch out for the weather. I do plan on having the car warmed up before and after I leave the pet store though. The highs are supposed to be in the 40's Sat. :( But w/ the sun and a warm car, maybe all will be well :)

Thank you for your idea!
 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
2,997
I didn't plan on bringing my T. blondi.
I didn't necessarily mean that you had to actually take your T. blondi. I meant it is useful to have at least an object that is about a foot long. If you simply tell them they can reach a size of up to a foot, without seeing people aren't always aware of just how big that is. If you can hold something up, like a straw or forceps, while telling them about the size and compare it to the object, people will tend to truly understand just how big a tarantula can get. This technique has always gotten a big reaction when I do my presentations. Plus, if I am speaking to 60 or 70 kids at a time, this allows everyone in the room to see what I am talking about. This will not be as much of an issue with your exhibit but it can still be a useful technique.

As far as weather is concerned, you shouldn't have to worry too much provided any exposure to the weather is very limited like walking from your house or the store to the car. You can always pack them into a large cooler. I have taken critters many times between the car and someplace during the winter and have never had a problem. It is important to limit the exposure though. I can't specifically comment on how the crabs will be though as my experience in that department is very limited. Though I would imagine it would be similar to tarantulas.
 

Tarangela

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
519
I didn't necessarily mean that you had to actually take your T. blondi. I meant it is useful to have at least an object that is about a foot long. If you simply tell them they can reach a size of up to a foot, without seeing people aren't always aware of just how big that is. If you can hold something up, like a straw or forceps, while telling them about the size and compare it to the object, people will tend to truly understand just how big a tarantula can get. This technique has always gotten a big reaction when I do my presentations. Plus, if I am speaking to 60 or 70 kids at a time, this allows everyone in the room to see what I am talking about. This will not be as much of an issue with your exhibit but it can still be a useful technique.

As far as weather is concerned, you shouldn't have to worry too much provided any exposure to the weather is very limited like walking from your house or the store to the car. You can always pack them into a large cooler. I have taken critters many times between the car and someplace during the winter and have never had a problem. It is important to limit the exposure though. I can't specifically comment on how the crabs will be though as my experience in that department is very limited. Though I would imagine it would be similar to tarantulas.

Windchaser,

I figured that is what you meant by the t. blondi, sorry, I mistyped how I felt.
I agree w/ taking something the same size, so people can get an idea how large the spider can get to be. I wish I had a pic of her beside a tape measure, but I know she would never allow that. You know how women are about their size :}

I was worried about the crabbers staying warm, and how I am going to be able to do that. I didn't want to show them and use a heat lamp or anything, b/c people will think that is all the warmth the need. But they can get cold quick, and that worries me. I was going to stick all of them in a KK.
Hopefully I can figure something out between now and Sat. Maybe I could use one of those 24 heat packs or something? And stick it under the sand.

The last time I took my spiders to the school, they seemed really nervous. And I don't want them attacking me, if I decide to open their KK tops. I may have to park across the street, I hope not, but I bet I do....
 
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