Perhaps today the goliath tarantula is considered the largest spider in the whole world. The largest specimen of this species of arachnids was discovered by the expedition of Pablo San Martin in Venezuela in 1965. The span of the paws of this spider was 28 cm. It was he who entered the Guinness Book of Records.
In general, female goliath tarantulas are usually larger than males. The size of their soft body reaches 9 cm, while in males it is no more than 8 cm. The leg span of these giant spiders ranges from 25 cm to 28 cm. The largest individuals weigh about 150 grams.
The protective color of tarantulas varies from black to yellow-orange. This usually happens just before molting. The cephalothorax of these creatures, as well as their abdomen, are covered with short but dense hairs. The paws are covered with long and reddish hairs.
Where does the world's largest spider live?
The favorite places of these creatures are mountainous regions with dense and humid forests. The optimal habitat for these "giants" is humid and swampy areas, mainly located in the Venezuelan rainforests. In addition, goliath tarantulas are widespread in the rainforests of Guyana, Suriname and Brazil.
Goliath tarantulas inhabit whole burrows up to 1 m deep. Outside, they braid them with thick cobwebs to prevent strangers from getting inside. It is females that spend most of their lives in burrows. They go hunting only at night. And this despite their impaired vision.
The goliath tarantula is a carnivorous spider. Before attacking a potential victim, this creature lurks in an impromptu ambush. So the spider lies in wait for its "supper". As soon as the future prey has approached a sufficient distance for attack, the tarantula pounces on it, using its fangs.
Contrary to its name, the tarantula does not eat birds at all. This was apparently an isolated incident. The fact is that this species of a spider from the order of arachnids was first noticed exactly when, for some reason, he ate a bird. Zoologists, who have been observing goliaths for a long time, came to the conclusion that the favorite and main food of these creatures is both invertebrates (butterflies, beetles) and vertebrates (mice, small snakes, frogs).
In general, zoologists call individuals that have reached the age of three as adult tarantulas. The average life span of a male goliath is 6 years. The female lives twice as long - up to 14 years. It is curious that often the life of males ends after they mate with a female.
The fact is that during mating games, goliath tarantulas, like praying mantises, have a ritual: after mating, the female simply eats her "groom" without his consent. However, not all spider suitors want to put up with this state of affairs. That is why nature has awarded them with sharp thorns located on the first pair of limbs. They serve as protection against aggressive females.