In Guyana, Piotr Naskrecki, a photographer and entomologist, heard something wrestling in the bushes, and when he turned on his flashlight, he was totally shocked. Expecting to see a possum or rat, , he was shocked to realize that what he was looking at was a spider the size of a puppy.
Called the South American Goliath bird eater, the giant arachnid in the worlds largest spider. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, its leg span is about the size of a small childs forearm, about a foot.
The spider weighs more than 6 oz., the same as a puppy, and has claws that make a very distinct sound as they hit the ground.
The spider has prickly hairs that it releases, which are very painful when in contact with the eyes or other mucous membranes.
For defense, it also has fangs that are 2cm, and they are known to prey on frogs and insects, such as earthworms.
Naskrecki has only come across three like this, so he captured that female one and it is now a part of a collection at the University of Guyana. He claims, It serves as an important teaching tool, and that it was euthanized, preserved, and carefully labeled. He seems to be protecting himself against animal rights groups, and adds, It is a very common species not at risk of being endangered, and collecting of a single individual poses absolutely no threat to its survival.
That spider is huge, and creepy, but wow, how cool!