Test your ability to revise based on audience, purpose, and context by reading the essay below and answering the questions that follow.

A photograph of a Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula. It is a large fuzzy spider.

Source: Goliath Bird Eating Spider, courosa, Flickr

(1) The Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula has a leg span of 12 inches. (2) It is the biggest arachnid in the world by body mass. (3) The Goliath is also just plain fascinating. (4) The name of the tarantula originates with Victorian-era explorers who saw a Goliath in the jungles of South America lunching on a hummingbird. (5) They called it the “bird eater,” and the name stuck. (6) Although it is possible for Goliaths to capture and eat birds, it is not common. (7) The Goliath is actually a very delicate creature and is afraid of heights because a fall from just a few feet could kill it. (8) It is, therefore, not commonly found climbing around in trees looking for birds. (9) Also the Goliath does not leap at its prey. (10) It waits patiently for prey to come its way. (11) Most of its diet consists not of birds, but of insects, small reptiles, or very small mammals.

A photograph of a tarantula acting aggressively. Its front four legs are raised and its fangs are showing.

Source: Parvanit, Wikimedia

(12) Two of the Goliath’s behaviors might unsettle you if you came across the tarantula during a walk through the jungle. (13) The Goliath will respond to an annoyance (and that means anything with fewer than eight legs) by rising on its four hind legs and making threatening gestures with its four front legs. (14) The gesture is threatening for sure, but the danger to humans is minimal: A Goliath’s bite is about as serious as a bee sting. (15) Another behavior that might give you bad dreams is the noise that the Goliath makes. (16) Most spiders don’t make noise at all. It is rather surprising, and for most of us a little scary, to hear a dinner-plate-sized spider make a hissing sound loud enough to be heard 15 feet away. (17) This spider does not make the noise with vocal chords, but by rubbing together bristles on its legs.

(18) Many tarantulas (such as the Texas Brown) make good pets. (19) The Goliath Bird Eater, however, is not one of them. (20) It is considered too aggressive to comfortably become part of your family.

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