Tarantulas are very large, hairy spiders that prefer to seek out and kill their prey rather than trapping them in the strands of a web. Depending on their size, tarantulas hunt prey as small as crickets or as large as lizards or even small birds. Like other spiders, they inject their prey with powerful venom that liquefies their organs into a stew that the tarantula can then consume.

Though desert dwellers fear the tarantula, the spider’s venom is rarely poisonous, although its bite can cause severe pain for a short period of time. Despite their fearsome appearance, tarantulas are rarely aggressive toward humans unless provoked, although the villagers of Pashtun ascribe a diabolical intelligence to the swarms of tarantulas infesting the nearby Island of the Ancient Ones.

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