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Pets Theme Unit
Fuzzy, Fascinating Tarantulas!



Fuzzy, Fascinating Tarantulas!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    arachnologists, birdeater, eyes-all, showing, substrate, superspiders, best, peat, teaching, thickness, fatal, organic, span, roaches, interact, exoskeleton
     content words:    Sam Marshall


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Fuzzy, Fascinating Tarantulas!
By Colleen Messina
  

1     People can teach their dogs to "shake" and offer a paw. Imagine teaching a pet that has eight legs to do this trick! One exotic pet, the tarantula, has eight legs. Unfortunately, they can't learn tricks. People who own these hairy spiders know that it is best to watch their pets rather than interact with them.
 
2     Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world. The Goliath birdeater tarantula is as big as a dinner plate. Tarantulas have eight eyes-all the better to see you with. Tarantulas have a tough skin called an exoskeleton. An exoskeleton is an external skeleton. These spiders are covered with hair. They have special hairs on their legs and feet. They use them for smelling. They have two sharp fangs attached to their mouths. Tarantulas do look startling!
 
3     Some scientists think tarantulas have been around for more than 150 million years. They are tough creatures. Tarantulas also have a long life span. Most spiders live for a season or maybe two. These large spiders can live for thirty years. Some tarantulas live in burrows in deserts. Others live in rain forests.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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