Piotr Naskrecki, a wildlife photographer was taking a night walk in the Guyana’s rainforest and suddenly heard a rustling sound like something was creeping under his feet. Eventually, when he turned around with his flashlight on, he saw a puppy-sized animal rustling around. The excitement uttered, when he found the creature turned out to be a Goliath spider. “When I turned on the flashlight, I couldn’t quite understand what I was seeing,” Naskrecki, from Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, stated.
Goliath Spider, also known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), is supposedly the world’s largest spider as per the Guinness World Records. The leg span of this huge arachnid spider can reach up to a foot 30 centimeters, or about the size of “a child’s forearm,” with a body the size of “a large fist,” Naskrecki claimed. Moreover, the spider can weigh more than 6 oz. (170 grams) about as much as a young puppy, the scientist further explained.
Prickly hairs and 2-inch Fangs
Goliath spider has massive sharp fangs, which could inflict deep wounds, though the venom of the Goliath bird eating spider isn’t deadly to humans. “I found that it was rubbing its hind legs against its abdomen- an action,” Naskrecki stated. But afterwards, he realized the spider was sending out a cloud of hairs with microscopic barbs on them. It has been known that when these hairs get in the eyes or other mucous membranes, they can turn out to be “extremely painful and itchy,” and can stay there for days, he said.
Bird eater or mostly harmless?
Naskrecki told that, regardless of its name, the birdeater doesn’t usually eat birds, though it is certainly capable of killing small mammals. They will essentially attack anything that they encounter. Usually, the Goliath spider hunts at night, and feeds on small animals including insects, frogs and earthworms. These spiders are also hard to find. “I’ve been working in the tropics in South America for almost the past 15 years, but I only saw the spider three times,” he added.