No, a tarantula is not a mammal; it is an arachnid, as it belongs to the class of animals called Arachnida. Several distinguishing features make a tarantula an arachnid and not a mammal.
Tarantulas don’t have a spine like mammals do, which is one of the distinguishing features of mammals. Also, they don’t use milk to feed their babies, and they have eight legs, which is atypical for mammals. Tarantulas are arachnids, as they have the typical body structure of an arachnid, which is without a spine, eight legs, two front pedipalps, and a head.
Why Are Tarantulas Not Mammals or Reptiles?
Tarantulas don’t belong to the mammal class of animals for several reasons:
- They don’t have a spine or bones, which is a feature that many mammals share
- They don’t feed their offspring with milk, which mammals produce on their own
- Tarantulas don’t have a middle ear, and they also don’t have a jaw joint
- They also don’t have teeth and enamel on teeth, which is typical for mammals
- Spiders like tarantulas don’t have sweat glands
Those are all distinguishing features of mammals, and spiders (more specifically, tarantulas) don’t have any of those features.
According to the earliest classification method for animals, which is still in use today, called the Linnaeus method, tarantulas belong to the phylum of Arthropods, and then into the class of animals called Arachnida, or arachnids, as we know them commonly.
This method of distinguishing animals by groups uses certain classification rules and categorizes animals according to their features. The majority of the classification system is based on the work of Carl Linnaeus from the 18th century, who introduced the order of class, genus, and species for every living creature on Earth, but especially for animals.
According to his method, mammals are a group of animals that shares the feature of owning milk glands to produce milk, as well as a well-defined jaw structure, teeth, middle ear, warm-blooded metabolism, hair on the body, and diaphragms.
None of these structures, except for the hair on the body, are detected in tarantulas, which means they’re not mammals, at least according to the Linnaeus system, which is the most widely used taxonomy system in the world.
Related: Old World vs New World Tarantulas
What Makes Tarantulas Arachnids?
Tarantulas are arachnids because they share several distinguishing features of arachnids, including having eight legs, two pairs of appendages in the front of the body, cephalothorax-like structure (head, thorax, and abdomen), internal breathing structures, venom, and carnivorous nature.
Arachnids are on the same level of class like mammals are. More specifically, tarantulas belong to the phylum of Arthropoda, which is the larger group of animals; they also belong to the subphylum of Chelicerata, and then into the class of Arachnids.
Again, this classification is structured upon the official rules that were set inside the Linnaeus system. If you consider the tarantula and take a look at its body and its structure, you’ll find that it contains all of the features that we’ve described above, which are the features that all arachnids possess.
Another typical feature of arachnids is their venom, which is what you won’t find in the vast majority of mammals. Not all spiders have venom, although the majority of tarantula species do. This venom is potent enough to kill their prey, although it’s rarely potent enough to seriously harm a human being.
Are Tarantulas Insects?
No, tarantulas are not insects, because insects are their own group of animals that is separate from spiders.
Both insects and spiders belong to the phylum of animals called Arthropods; however, the main distinguishing point in the classification is that insects belong to the class of animals called Insecta, while the tarantulas belong to the class of animals called Arachnida, or arachnids.
Tarantulas differ from insects in many key specifications. They don’t have wings as many insects do, and they also don’t have antennas, which insects use to detect their surroundings. Tarantulas use the hairs on their bodies to detect movements around them instead.
Also, tarantulas prey on many insects, which means that they will ambush insects and hunt them down. They do that by hiding into burrows and ambushing them, which gives the tarantula a chance to kill the insect instantly. They do that with their venom, which is what many insects don’t have.
All these differences in features between insects and tarantulas mean that they belong to different classes of animals and that they’re not as similar to each other as many people tend to believe.
What Family Does a Tarantula Belong To?
The tarantula belongs to the Theraphosidae family, which contains many hairy spider species that come from North America, and other parts of America.
Theraphosidae is also another name for the tarantula. Family is the lowest class of classification of animals, as it is the most specific classification with the narrowest set of features that is typical for animals.
Tarantulas, or Theraphosidae, is a family of animals that are found all across the United States. It’s also found in tropical America, South America, and Mexico. The majority of tarantulas make burrows in the ground, which they will use for hunting animals and for ambushing them.
These animals are often kept as pets, as they are found all over the world. They have a 30-year life span, especially if they are kept as pets and cared for properly. Their diet is largely carnivorous, as they prefer to eat insects and other types of foods that they can catch themselves.
RELATED TARANTULA GUIDES:
To conclude, tarantulas are not mammals – they are arachnids, as they belong to the class of animals called Arachnida. This is according to the official classification system, which was developed in the 18th century by Linnaeus.
The system tries to distinguish animals according to their physical attributes and behaviors. It is a highly effective system that’s been in use for hundreds of years, and it allows us to distinguish animals from one another and classify them more effectively according to their features.