Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creature Feature: Goliath Birdeater.

We at the blog should be scaring you all silly during the month of October. Then again, we should be trying to do that all the time, making this month not very special at all. That means we have to try extra hard for the rest of the month, so expect every spell ingredient in the book to get its own blog page.

Yesterday was a newt. Today... a MASSIVE spider.

The Goliath birdeater (Theraposa blondi) is the second largest spider in the world. It has a legspan of up to a foot. It is native to the Amazon rainforest, which is a good place to avoid if you are easily intimidated. There are enough deadly animals there to fill a whole week's worth of entries. This spider is not among them.

The Goliath birdeater does not eat birds at every meal. Most of its diet consists of invertebrates. The name comes from a Victorian report of this spider eating a hummingbird - in other words, small bird, big spider. Due to its size, Goliath can consume a number of vertebrates, including birds, lizards, bats, and venomous snakes. Depending on your specific set of phobias, a spider that eats snakes may be more or less terrifying than one that does not.

Luckily, this super-spider is not harmful to humans. Its bite is only as bad as a wasp sting. Worry more about the hairs it sheds in defense; those will irritate your skin. Again, this is not nearly as badas one would expect from such a large spider.

Arachnophobes, you got off easy. We've already covered most of the nasty Australian stuff for you.

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