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On the Wild Side: Strange news from the World of Wildlife!

Spittin' Hairs

It's said that people will tear their own hair out when they're frustrated. Tarantulas also tear out their own hair, though it's done in self-defense.

Contrary to popular opinion, the tarantulas native to North America are no more deadly to humans than wasps or bees. But in addition to their bite, these creatures use the hairs on their abdomens as weapons. With their hind legs, the tarantulas kick these hairs in the air toward their foes or press the hairs into foes like tiny daggers. And if the foe happens to be a human, the hairs can cause rashes and sometimes serious eye inflammation. That's why tarantula handlers often wear goggles and wash their hands after touching the spiders.

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