Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rosie, the TV star

Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea)
One more spider post:

Rosie, the Ijams' Chilean rose tarantula, made a guest appearance on WBIR's Live@5@4 for Halloween. I went along as her handler. Every star needs a personal assistant and spokesperson. And every Halloween show needs a really big big hairy spider.

Chilean rose tarantulas (Grammostola rosea) are not native to Tennessee and can only be found in pet stores. They are actually very laid-back and make easy-to-care-for low maintenance pets, just feed them crickets. G. rosea are usually skittish, running away from danger rather than acting defensively.

At the nature center Rosie is an education animal that makes numerous guest appearances to raise awareness of arachnids and dispel the unreasonable fear of spiders: arachnophobia. I could say they get into their pants just like you or I, one leg at a time, but with eight bristle-covered legs it's a little more arduous for them.

Surprisingly, a female G. rosea can live up to 20 years, and with eight eyes, eight legs, two body segments plus spinnerets, pedipalps and chelicerae, they make good conversation starters. Just ask Russell Biven and Beth Haynes.   

To see Rosie's interview click Live@5@4.

Thank you Lee Ann, Beth, Russell, Emily, Jerry and all the rest of the WBIR staff. 

The WBIR Live@5@4 crew are out standing in their field, producing five hours of live, entertaining television a week.

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