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Fifi’s New Clothes

If you’ve never seen a tarantula shed it’s exoskeleton, it’s really quite interesting. Here’s a time-lapse of out class tarantula, Fifi, shrugging out of her old seven-legged “skin.”

The entire process took about 12 hours. It’s unusual for a tarantula to do this upright; most of the time they flip over on their back to kick off the old shell. This is how Fifi came to be with us; the student thought she was dying. While they are in the molting phase, the spider is extremely vulnerable. He touched her leg to see if she was alive, and it fell off. Distraught, he brought the tarantula to the environmental science teacher at our school.

Luckily, tarantulas have the ability to regenerate lost or damage limbs during the next molt, and we are proud to announce that Fifi now has all eight legs again! Fifi is a Chilean rose-hair tarantula, and she’s so docile that she allows students to hold her (if they dare).

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