A clutch of about 200 rare and unusual tarantulas has hatched at Chester Zoo - a momentous event which has never been achieved before.
Invertebrate keepers at the zoo are the first in the world to successfully breed the Montserrat tarantulas, marking a crucial step towards discovering more about the mysterious species.
Native to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, very little information is known about the tarantulas and how they live.
But now, new behavioural observations made for the first time by experts at the zoo, have revealed crucial insights about the tarantulas which, prior to their breeding, had never before been seen in zoos or in the wild.
Dr Gerardo Garcia, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said:
Montserrat tarantulas were first formally described by science from a single male over 100 years ago. Since then, a team of researchers have observed the tarantula as a prey item for another threatened species from the island, the mountain chicken frog.