Oh My GAWD…This Is One GIANT Spider: The Goliath Birdeater
What would you do if you came upon one of these monster spiders, me…I’d grab my shotgun and send it straight to bug heaven!!
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest spider is the Goliath birdeater. Native to South America, these huge spiders can weigh more than 6 ounces, with legs spanning up to a foot.
According to Wikipedia:
The Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) belongs to the tarantula family Theraphosidae. Found in northern South America, it is the largest spider in the world by mass and size, but it is second to the giant huntsman spider by leg-span. It is also called the Goliath bird-eating spider; the practice of calling theraphosids “bird-eating” derives from an early 18th-century copper engraving by Maria Sibylla Merian that shows one eating a hummingbird. It only rarely preys on adult birds
Piotr Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, studied the birdeater spiders, and compared them to the size of a puppy. While some experts think that the giant huntsman spider is larger because of its impressive leg span, the birdeater spiders are actually more massive.
They are named ‘birdeaters’, but their diet mainly consists of earthworms and other small animals they find on the ground in their jungle habitat. Even though these spiders aren’t deadly to humans, they can still inflict some damage with their two inch fangs.
They also have microscopic barbs on their hair that when stuck on a predator, can cause pain, itchiness, and discomfort for days. Naskrecki is quoted as saying: “I’ve been working in the tropics in South America for many, many years, and in the last 10 to 15 years, I only ran across the spider three times.” He captured one female specimen in Guyana, which was given to a museum after being studied.