World's Largest Spider

Take a look at the creature in the picture. It is the Goliath Bird Eating Spider or the Birdeater, the "Largest Spider in the World". It belongs to the Tarantula family and it's scientific name is Theraphosa blondi. These spiders have up to a 30 centimeter (12 in) long leg span when fully extended and can weigh over 120 grams. The spider was named by explorers from the Victorian era, who witnessed one eating a hummingbird and reported the sighting to the Western world.

The Goliath Bird Eating Spider is found in the rain forest regions of northern South America. Wild goliath birdeaters are a deep burrowing species, found commonly in marshy or swampy areas. Goliath birdeaters usually live in burrows in the ground that they have either dug themselves or have been previously abandoned by rodents or other similar creatures.

The female birdeaters mature in 2.5-3 years and have an average life span of 15 to 25 years. Males die soon after maturity and have a lifespan of 3 to 6 years. Birdeaters have hair on their bodies, abdomens, and legs. Their colors range from dark to light brown with faint markings on the legs. The goliath birdeater has poor eyesight and mainly relies on vibrations in the ground that they can sense from their burrows.The female lays anywhere from 100 to 400 eggs, which hatch into spiderlings within two months.

The goliath birdeater is fairly harmless to humans. Like all tarantulas, it has fangs large enough to break the skin of a human (1-2.5 cm). They do carry venom in their fangs and have been known to bite humans when threatened. But this venom is relatively harmless and its effects are comparable to those of a wasp's sting.