The Goliath Birdeater is a species of tarantula that ranks as the largest of all the arachnids that humans know of. In terms of both weight and mass, the creature is also the largest known type of spider.
It possesses a leg span of up to 11 in (28 cm) and may weigh as much as 6 oz (170 gr). The fangs can be an inch long (just imagine how big this is). Interestingly, even though they have eight eyes, their vision remains rather poor.
The spider draws its name from the fact that they are large enough to prey upon birds. In actuality, preying upon birds occurs rather rarely.
This species forms a killing machine, perfectly adapted to its habitat – the rainforest regions of portions of South America. This includes the countries of Guyana, Surinam, and portions of Brazil and Venezuela.
They are also a terrestrial spider and reside in deep burrows, swamps, and marshes.
Goliath Birdeater Behavior and Description
The Goliath Birdeater is a nocturnal arachnid and is principally an ambush predator. It is an opportunistic hunter and lays a silk path which acts like a tripwire for animals that pass through. Though it primarily feeds on earthworms, insects are also occasionally taken.
Further, they do not spin webs like smaller spiders.
The species displays sexual dimorphism in regards to their lifespan. The female spider lives for 15-25 years. The males, however, only live for 3-6 years. The reason for this is that the males mate soon after maturity, and then die. Do the females then form a harem? You bet.
Science has no evidence of human death due to a tarantula bite. That is indeed a little comforting.