This article provides you with information about the biggest spider in the world, its habitat, food habits, defense mechanism, size, the family it belongs to, and other details.
Continue reading the full article for more information.
About Goliath Birdeater
The Goliath Birdeater is the biggest spider in the world. It belongs to the Tarantula familyTheraphosidae which consists of a group of spiders that have hairs on their body.
They are called the Goliath birdeater, but they don’t eat birds often; however, they can do so. The term bird eaters were given to them because, in the 18th century, one tarantula was found eating a hummingbird. Hence, it is from there that they got this name.
The Binomial name of the Goliath birdeater is Theraphosa blondi. These spiders are mainly in the region of northern South America. If we calculate by mass and body length, it is the heaviest spider in the existence.
Let’s have a look at its scientific classification:
Size of the Spider
The Goliath bird eater is the biggest tarantula. Its’s body can measure up to 4.75 inches (12 centimeters). Talking about the leg span of this spider is up to 11 inches (28 centimeters). It can weigh up to six ounces.
The biggest spider in this world, the Goliath birdeater, is mainly found in the rainforest regions. They are often found in northern Brazil, Guyana, French Guinana, Venezuela, and Suriname.
These species live in the deeper region of the rainforest; they make burrows and live. They also live under rocks, roots, etc.
Food that It Eats
As the name birdeater is given to them, it is because they can eat birds. However, it is very rare that they attack or feed birds.
Besides birds, they also eat mice, frogs, lizards, snakes, worms, etc. When they are kept in zoos, they are also fed cockroaches.
Goliath bird eaters are predators, they kill and eat insects, amphibians, and arthropods, depending on their sizes.
However, they have a nature of not eating their prey until and unless they take it to their burrows. After they reach the burrow with their prey, they start their consumption process. At first, they will liquify their prey so that it becomes easier for digestion. Then they will suck their insides.
Tarantulas usually practice sexual cannabilism, that is, they have sex with male spiders. Then they attack them, kill them, and eat them.
However, in the case of Goliath bird eaters, they don’t do the same. The female spiders of this species have a longer lifespan than the male spiders. The female spiders after maturity have a life span of 15 to 25 years whereas the male spiders after maturity have a lifespan of 3 to 6 years.
The female spiders can lay 10 to 200 eggs. After the eggs develop in 6 to 8 weeks, they hatch. Goliath bird eaters are of the colors dark brown, light brown, and tan, and have markings on their legs. Their abdomen, legs, and bodies are covered with hair.
How does it Defend Itself?
When Goliath bird eaters, the biggest spider in the world, needs to defend themselves, it rubs their hairs together. This leads to the production of hissing noise. The noize can be heard from 15 feet away. This way the attackers are alarmed and they stop attacking.
Sometimes, they also throw their hair on the attackers. These hairs irritate the skin. In order to scare the attacker more, they rise up on their hind legs so that their large fangs are visible to the attackers and they become afraid.
Their fangs are 2 to 4 cm long and are powerful enough to break the human’s skin. However, they attack only when they feel the need to in self-defense.
Do Goliath Bird Eaters Bite Humans?
Yes, the spider can bite humans. However, they do so only as an act of self-defense. Their fangs are strong and sharp enough to cut the skin of a human. Their bite is extremely painful, and therefore, one should always take precautions while handling one.
Is the Bite of the Giant Spider Venomous?
Goliath birdeater do have venoms in their fangs. They bite when they feel threatened. However, the venom in their fangs is not harmful. You will have the same effect of a Goliath bird eater bite as that of a wasp.
Their bites are also known as dry bites as they do not cause envenomation. Its bite will not kill a person. However, it is still advised to be careful because the pain is enormous, it feels like a nail being hammered.
They are not deadly spiders like the Phoneutria whose bite can kill a human being. The venom of Phoneutria is toxic to the nervous system. But in the case of a Goliath bird eater, you will only feel a lot of pain.
Is Goliath Birdeater Aggressive in Nature?
Goliath birdeater is aggressive in nature and nocturnal. When they feel threatened, they produce a hissing sound, throw their hair in defense, and bite too as an act of self-defense.
They live in burrows and are solitary in nature. These giant spiders have partners only for mating.
Is the Spider Edible?
Yes, they are edible and are eaten as a delicacy. In northeastern South America, it is a local cuisine. The hairs are carefully removed, and it is roasted in banana leaves.
The taste of it is somewhere similar to shrimp.
So this was all about the hefty spider – the Goliath birdeater. Because of habitat destruction, they are becoming an endangered species. The use of chemical pesticides also has an effect on them.