Spiders can be tricky to breed, especially spiders we don't know much about, like the Montserrat tarantula.
Only found on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, this tarantula species' lifecycle is unknown to scientists. During a trip to the island in 2013, Gerardo Garcia, the curator of lower vertebrates for the Chester Zoo in England, collected male and female spiders to bring back to the zoo for studying.
Garcia had a host of troubles getting the spiders to breed, as the BBC reports. Males of the species only live for about two-and-a-half years, whereas the females live much longer and mature much more slowly. It becomes a race against time to synchronize the two genders before the males die. The females' combative nature only adds to the complications.
"The female can take [the male spider] as a prey, rather than a partner," Garcia tells the BBC.
Luckily for Garcia, the mating process eventually worked, with three female spiders burrowing underground in their habitats after successfully mating with a male, which died after mating.
"They literally dig a burrow in the ground, and they're gone," he explains to the BBC. "They don't feed, they don't show up, we don't know what's going on. You just have to leave it for several months and see what happens."
And what happens is what you see in the video, but on a much bigger scale: 200 spiderlings begin to crawl out from under the soil, and that's from just one female!
Garcia will use these spiderlings to start a breeding program for the Montserrat tarantula, and scientists will then be able to study this species — which we've only known about for 100 years — in a much more up-close-and-personal way.