Goliath birdeater or ”Theraphosa blondi” in latin is the world’s largest spider.
The spider is found in wet swamps and around rainforestes in countries such as Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.
A Goliath Birdeater can grow to almost a foot across (almost the size of a dinner plate) and with fangs about an inch long.
Despite its threatening size, goliath birdeater is pretty harmless to humans – but they do tend to bite humans when threatened.
Their venom’s effect on humans causes swelling and some pain for a couple of hours.
Goliath birdeater has the abillity to flick urticating hairs from its body at other creatures it sees as a threat. These hairs can embed themselves in to other animal’s skin or eyes. The hairs can result in painful rashes and is said to feel like sharp shards of fiberglass.
Goliath birdeater has an unusual abillity for a spider and that is making noise. When thretened, it rubs the hairs on the legs together causing a hissing noise called ”strudulation” which can be heard up to 15 feet (4.5 m) away.
Goliath birdeater got its name because it’s known to take young birds from their nests to eat. The also eat snakes, insects, frogs, lizards and bats.
A certain Amerinindian tribe sees the goliath birdeater as a delicacy and carefully hunts it.
A mammoth spider (Golden silk orb-weaver) eating a finch
In October 2008, some shocking photos began circulating the web. A mammoth spider (Golden silk orb-weaver) was caught on camera eating a bird in a backyard in Cairns, Australia.
According to Joel Shakespeare, head spider keeper at NSW’s Australian Reptile Park, it’s unusual to see a mammoth sider eating a bird. They normally prey on insects.
It’s not unusual for the Golden silk orb-weaver to grow to the size of a human hand, but this one was even larger.
The bird which is a Chestnut-breasted Munia or a ”Bully Bird”, is likely to have flown into the spider’s web and got caught. The web acts as a barbed wire, causing the prey to get more tangled up the more it struggles.
A Bully bird grows to 10 – 10.5 cm and got its nickname from its tendency to be aggressive and bully other birds.
The mammoth spider doesn’t eat the whole bird, but instead it uses its venom to break down the bird, creating a package of food.