And here I thought the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden only did adorable pictures of Fiona the hippo.
It turns out those folks at the zoo aren't all cute hippos 24/7; they like to balance out the adorableness with the utterly horrifying, like this fascinating video of a red-kneed tarantula's molting process.
All arthropods, as the Facebook post with the video explains, molt as they grow larger. Their exoskeletons, which protect their organs, must be cast off. In the video above, which is a 40-second compression of a seven-hour process, the tarantula is on its back, pushing the too-tight exoskeleton off itself by pushing fluids into weak points along the old exoskeleton. As you can see, the spider twitches, kicks and generally makes a fuss as it works it way out of its past self. Younger tarantulas, the zoo notes, molt more often, presumably because they're still growing spiders.
While the process looks like something out of a B-movie creature feature, the result is that the tarantula has a softer, more sensitive exoskeleton, at least for a few days. Meanwhile, the cast-off exoskeleton is a perfect duplicate of the spider, minus the head. So if the skeleton wants to fake its death somehow, well, it's got all the props it needs.