Spiders are one of the things that some of our nightmares are made of. But there is one species of spider that is far terrifying than the rest.
That’s because this spider could be the size of your face.
The Goliath birdeater is the largest spider species in the world. But you can rest easy knowing that the Goliath birdeater spider probably won’t attack you, they are generally docile.
Here are some facts on one of the most horrifying creatures in the world:
Females Live for Decades, While Male Only Live a Few Years
While the typical female Goliath birdeater lives between 10 to 15 years and as old as 25 years, her male counterpart only lives between three to six years.
They Fight Over Their Women
According to Spiders World, males become attracted by the scent and chemicals a female emits. If there is more than one male in the area, the males will aggressively fight with one another in order to mate with the female. But the female is the one who has the say in who she will mate with, she’s usually very picky.
It’s the Largest Spider Species in the World
The Goliath is the largest spider in the world in body size and mass. Its body length is typically around 4.5 inches in length but has been known to get as large as 11 inches. That’s the size of a dinner plate. Their legs can grow to around 11 inches long and can weigh less than half a pound.
Males Usually Die After Mating
Male Goliath birdeaters usually die within a few months after mating with the female.
It’s a Tarantula
Goliath birdeaters are classified as Theraphosa blondi and belong to the Arachbida Class, Aranea Order, Mygalomorphae Suborder, and Theraphosidae Family. That makes them tarantulas, which are larger and covered in hair. Tarantulas typically aren’t threatening to humans and can live to age 30.
They Can Have 200 Babies at Once
A female can deposit up to 200 eggs at once. Her young will arrive 8 weeks after she has mated. The females tend to eat more than the males do because once their egg sack is in place, they stop eating.
They Shoot Barbed Hairs At Their Enemies
The Goliath birdeater can shoot tiny barbed hairs when they are threatened. These hairs can irritate the skin and can really do a number if they come in contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth.
They Are Generally Harmless
The only time they shoot those hairs are when they feel threatened. So, if you stay out of a Goliath birdeater’s way, you don’t have to be nervous. They like to be left alone.
Though they are venomous spiders, they rarely inject venom when they bite unless they are hunting. If they do bite you and use venom it will cause pain and some swelling but be more like a wasp sting.
They Eat Worms
Goliath birdeater can eat small birds, but it’s harder for them to catch flying birds in the wild. They mostly eat worms along with other things like insects, lizards, frogs, toads, and sometimes snakes.
They Have Bad Eyesight
Goliath birdeaters, like many tarantulas, have terrible eyesight. They use vibrations they feel through the ground in place of their eyesight. When they feel a vibration they will pounce on their prey and inject it with venom.
New Birdeating Tarantulas Were Discovered in 2017
Researchers from the Sau Paulo Institute discovered the three new birdeating tarantula species while working on a project in Peru to track tarantulas of the Avicularia genus. The new species belong to a different genus than the Goliath.
They Can Regenerate Their Limbs
Goliath’s can shed its skin and produce a new skin. They use the same molting process to regenerate lost limbs. The whole process takes several hours. The Goliath just increases the fluid pressure in its body to pop the dead limb off. It then pumps fluid to the limb to create a news skin in the shapes of the old limb. It keeps pumping fluid in until it turns into a solid leg.
Children Hunt and Eat Them
Those in Venezuela’s Piaroa tribe say that the Goliath birdeater is pretty tasty. Their children learn to hunt them as food at an early age.
They Make a Sound Like a Rattlesnake
Goliath birdeaters will make a loud hissing noise that sounds like a rattlesnake. They make the noise when they are threatened by rubbing their legs together. The noise is used to scare off any threats so they don’t have to fight.
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