Science News
Published: Oct 20, 2014
World's largest spider is the size of a puppy [PHOTO\VIDEO]
by Ann Warren


World's largest spider is the size of a puppy [PHOTO\VIDEO], While strolling through a rain forest one evening in Guyana, Piotr Naskrecki, a photographer and entomologist at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, stumbled upon the biggest spider in the world, the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi).

Naskrecki at first thought it was a small mammal, and was startled when his flashlight revealed a spider the size of a small puppy, which created a clacking sound when it walked due to its hardened tips and claws.

It isn't the first time a giant spider has been seen. Researcher Ranil Nanayakkara and his team of scientists went looking for a beastie after villagers in northern Sri Lanka showed them the dead body of a giant spider they had killed.

With the help of a local police inspector named Michael Rajakumar Purajah, researchers scoured the area for more signs of the unusual spider, an arachnid species that belongs to the genus Peocilotheria. They named it Poecilotheria rajaei, in recognition of the inspector's "tireless hours in the field."

The Poecilotheria rajaei feeds primarily on small snakes and birds and has a leg span of up to eight inches across, thought it's not quite the world's largest tarantula.

South America's goliath birdeater tarantula is the largest and has a 12-inch leg span not to mention it can weigh up to half a pound. More photos.

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