Thursday, Sep. 08, 2011

The World's Largest Spider: Goliath Birdeater Tarantula

Arachnophobes, take this opportunity to look away, because the Goliath Birdeater Tarantula might be your biggest fear. As the largest spider in terms of mass, the Goliath Tarantula can grow up to nearly a foot across, weighing in at more than six ounces, with fangs that are over an inch long. Native to the remote rain forests of South America, this tarantula was named based on reports from explorers who claimed to see one eating a hummingbird. But while their scale can prompt them to seek out this type of large prey, for the most part, the Goliath primarily feeds on insects and other invertebrates, which it traps using its silk web and kills with its fatal venom. Despite their creepy appearance and vicious reputation, however, the tarantula's bite is no worse than a wasp sting to humans, and to date there have been no reports of human fatalities due to this arachnid. Not like that makes us want to cuddle up to the Goliath anytime in the foreseeable future.