Tarantulas can look very scary to some but know that they are generally very docile creatures that don´t usually attack humans. But still, the thought that tarantulas can´t only run towards you but also jump is terrifying for a lot of people. So in this article, I will tell you exactly what tarantulas can do and why you don´t have to be scared when encountering one in the wild.
As a whole, tarantulas don´t usually jump especially not to attack humans. Tarantulas will jump very small distances in order to catch their prey, however. But tarantulas are able to swim even though they usually only swim when they really have to.
So as you can see, you don´t have to be afraid of tarantulas as they don´t attack humans and they aren´t able to jump over long distances. But if you want to know more then just keep on reading.
Can Tarantulas Really not Jump?
Let´s first take a closer look at whether or not no tarantula is able to jump and how far they can jump.
As a whole, tarantulas can only jump very small distances and tarantulas only jump when they are catching their prey. They aren´t able to jump distances that are longer than their body and they will never jump to attack a human. Some tree-dwelling tarantulas can jump longer but they only jump as a last resort.
There are no tarantulas in the US, Canada, or the EU that can jump. So if you encounter one in the wild then don´t be afraid that it will jump towards you.
You can see a tree-dwelling tarantula jump in this video right here.
WIld tarantulas will usually avoid humans and even if confronted with a human head on they will only very rarely bite.
Their main defense mechanism is actually their ability to kick off hairs from their abdomen that will get stuck in and irritate your skin or eyes.
So keep your distance when you encounter a wild tarantula but don´t be afraid that it will jump towards you or bite you.
There are tarantulas that are able to jump a few inches but these are tree-dwelling tarantulas that don´t live naturally in the US, Canada, or the EU.
Can Tarantulas Swim?
A lot of people find comfort in the thought that tarantulas can´t swim. But is that really the case?
Tarantulas can swim. They don´t swim fast and they will only swim if they really have to, for example, if they fell in the water or if they have to escape a predator. They will stay afloat thanks to their hairy body and then use their hind legs to propel themselves forward.
So if you encounter a tarantula in the wild and you think that you can jump in the next body of water near you to be safe then you are sort of right even though it is unnecessary to be safe from a tarantula.
Tarantulas will never chase a human, especially through the water. But a tarantula will also never attack a human right out.
Tarantulas aren´t aggressive animals and they will usually avoid human contact if they can.
Even though you might not like tarantulas it is actually very interesting how tarantulas swim. Their hairy bodies and the fact they don´t weigh much allow them to float on water.
Then they will use their hind legs to propel themselves forward.
They aren´t fast swimmers but they are able to swim small distances to save themselves from drowning.
In this video, you can see how a tarantula is swimming towards a boat.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂