Ebony’s exoskeleton

Young school visitors can get an idea of the full scale of our super-sized spider, as we’ve boxed one of her moults.

When Ebony the Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula last shed her skin, keepers down on the Farm decided to put it in a clear box so school visitors can get close to the eight-legged moult without damaging it.

Farm Section Leader Lesley Lewis said: “The moult is very delicate so we put it inside a plastic box so school parties can get a good look and it will still stay intact.

“Most youngsters are impressed by the size of it and fascinated by how much the moult looks like a living spider.”

With a leg span of up to 10 inches, the Brazilian salmon pink bird-eater is one of the largest tarantulas in the world.

They have an exoskeleton, a rigid casing protecting their internal organs, and as they grow they undergo a series of moults, shedding their old exoskeleton and gaining a larger one each time.

Like all spiders, tarantulas have eight tiny eyes clustered together.

Visit Ebony and her moult when you’re next on the Farm!