Here’s the thing about spiders: the fact that some of them (a very small number, but still) have venom that could injure and kill a person means that human beings are evolutionarily coded to fear them. It’s self-preservation, survival of the species, and all of that.

Personally, I’m not afraid of spiders, per se…but I also don’t like to be surprised by them, and finding an especially large on inside my house still causes me to jump.

P. irminia. 5-inch sub-adult female

There are, of course, many good things about spiders, and a number of reasons for taking care with the ones who aren’t going to hurt you. They kill bugs, of course, but especially the ones that could harm you, like ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests.

If you need more help convincing your baser instincts to leave your eight-legged friend to their own devices, it turns out they have adorable (yes, I said it) wee paws on their many feet.

A spider paw is technically called a tarsus, and they’re easiest to spot on the 900 different species of tarantulas living among us – and below are 12 pictures that might just make you go awwwwww. Maybe.

12. These pictures make it obvious how they knit those webs!

Aphonopelma chalcodes tarsal claws

11. Tell me you don’t want to pet that!

10. They look like they have a secret handshake.

P. antinous - holding on to my thumb

9. Look at the underside omg.

8. I think Spiderman is doing it wrong.

Tarantula feet

7. And there are EIGHT of them!

6. It sort of looks like the Lorax?

Tarantula (Selenocosmia sp.) - DSC_8252

5. Those COLORS.

Poecilotheria rufilata male, 6-inch, foot

4. Guys I am just completely fascinated.

Pterinochilus murinus, adult female

3. It’s just so tiny.

Amazing tarantula tools for toes

2. I never imagined they would look like this.

B. albopilosum, mature male, 5-inches

1. This one looks positively velvety.

Heteroscodra maculata tarsal claw

 

Well, what’s the verdict? Are you still scared of spiders?

If your kid wants a tarantula, maybe don’t just say no right away – think instead of seeing these furry spider beans up close!