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Watch two tarantulas dance in a mating ritual

Mating with 16 legs can be complicated. See a male tarantula tap, wrestle and make sweet love to a female, before rushing off so he isn't eaten.


If you think finding your soul mate is difficult, be thankful you're not a tarantula.

The male species of the extra large spider, which can grow as big as a human hand, uses a series of movements when it sees a female to show that he's interested in mating.

If the female tarantula isn't impressed, she may just eat her would-be suitor and look for another candidate with better genes.

In this video from National Geographic, posted Friday on YouTube, the dangerous mating game is caught on camera in all its glory.

The footage shows a close-up view of two tarantulas tapping the ground to signal interest in mating. Then the dancing -- OK, maybe wrestling -- begins with the male using his two of his legs to keep her from hurting him with her fangs.

During the ritual, if the female is receptive to the male's advances, he will insert his appendage pedipalps into her opisthosoma, an opening in the lower part of her abdomen. As soon as the deed is done, the male must scurry away before the female decides to eat him.

Their quick coitus can result in the female laying 50 to 2,000 eggs, depending on the species of the tarantula.

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