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Tarantulas are very large and hairy spiders. There are about 900 species. Depending on the species, the body length of tarantulas ranges from 2.5 to 10 centimetres (1 to 4 in), with leg spans of 8–30-centimetre (3–12 in). The largest species is the goliath birdeater of South America.
All tarantulas can make silk. They use this silk to line their burrows. They wrap their prey in this silk before devouring it. Tarantulas eat insects and other spiders, capturing them by using the ambush method. They hunt in trees and on the ground. The biggest tarantulas can kill animals as large as lizards, mice, birds and small snakes.
Tarantulas live in the savannas, grasslands such as the pampas, rainforests, deserts, scrubland, mountains, and cloud forests of the warm regions of the world. Various species are found in the southern and western parts of the United States, in Central America, and throughout South America. Other species are found throughout Africa, much of Asia and all of Australia. In Europe, some species occur in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, and Sri Lanka. Tarantulas are not dangerous to humans, and are sometimes kept as pets. They are eaten in some parts of Asia.
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