Brown tarantulas begin their annual mating journey across Arizona

In the southwest, thousands of male brown tarantulas march across the landscape, their journey being part of an annual migration of species, as the furry creatures leave their burrows in search of a mate.

Although the event is often referred to as a migration, the spiders don’t migrate like most animals, from one specific place to another. Rather, the saucer-sized arachnids leave their home burrows specifically to mate, which can take them anywhere from hundreds of feet to several miles in any direction.

“They move very far. I think I made one of mine move almost a mile while watching it,” said Margaret Janowski-Bell, a biology professor at Victoria College in Victoria, Texas, who has studied the movement of men studied for her graduate work. “The males I looked at were moving in all different directions. What I saw were males searching the landscape for females.”

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