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Thread: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

  1. #1

    Default Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest







    Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

    Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.

    "When I turned on the light, I couldn't quite understand what I was seeing," said Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

    A moment later, he realized he was looking not at a brown, furry mammal, but an enormous, puppy-size spider.

    Known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the colossal arachnid is the world's largest spider, according to Guinness World Records. Itsleg span can reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), or about the size of "a child's forearm," with a body the size of "a large fist," Naskrecki told Live Science. And the spider can weigh more than 6 oz. (170 grams) about as much as a young puppy, the scientist wrote on his blog. [See Photos of the Goliath Birdeater Spider]

    Some sources say the giant huntsman spider, which has a larger leg span, is bigger than the birdeater. But the huntsman is much more delicate than the hefty birdeater comparing the two would be "like comparing a giraffe to an elephant," Naskrecki said.

    The birdeater's enormity is evident from the sounds it makes. "Its feet have hardened tips and claws that produce a very distinct, clicking sound, not unlike that of a horse's hooves hitting the ground," he wrote, but "not as loud."

    Prickly hairs and 2-inch fangs

    When Naskrecki approached the imposing creature in the rainforest, it would rub its hind legs against its abdomen. At first, the scientist thought the behavior was "cute," he said, but then he realized the spider was sending out a cloud of hairs with microscopic barbs on them. When these hairs get in the eyes or other mucous membranes, they are "extremely painful and itchy," and can stay there for days, he said. [Creepy-Crawly Gallery: See Spooky Photos of Spiders]

    But its prickly hairs aren't the birdeater's only line of defense; it also sports a pair of 2-inch-long (5 centimeters) fangs. Although the spider's bite is venomous, it's not deadly to humans. But it would still be extremely painful, "like driving a nail through your hand," Naskrecki said.

    And the eight-legged beast has a third defense mechanism up its hairy sleeve. The hairs on the front of the spider's body have tiny hooks and barbs that make a hissing sound when they rub against each other, "sort of like pulling Velcro apart," Naskrecki said.

    Yet despite all that, the spider doesn't pose a threat to humans. Even if it bites you, "a chicken can probably do more damage," Naskrecki said.

    Bird eater or mostly harmless?

    Despite its name, the birdeater doesn't usually eat birds, although it is certainly capable of killing small mammals. "They will essentially attack anything that they encounter," Naskrecki said.

    The spider hunts in leaf litter on the ground at night, so the chances of it encountering a bird are very small, he said. However, if it found a nest, it could easily kill the parents and the chicks, he said, adding that the spider species has also been known to puncture and drink bird eggs.

    The spider will eat frogs and insects, but its main prey is actually earthworms, which come out at night when it's humid. "Earthworms are very nutritious," Naskrecki said.

    Birdeaters are not very common spiders. "I've been working in the tropics in South America for many, many years, and in the last 10 to 15 years, I only ran across the spider three times," Naskrecki.

    After catching the specimen he found in Guyana, which was female, Naskrecki took her back to his lab to study. She's now deposited in a museum.

    http://www.livescience.com/48340-gol...scientist.html



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  3. #2

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    Nightmares tonight.

    Thanks bunches!

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin Truth View Post
    Nightmares tonight.

    Thanks bunches!
    You're welcome!

    It's harmless.
    Yet despite all that, the spider doesn't pose a threat to humans. Even if it bites you, "a chicken can probably do more damage," Naskrecki said.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    You're welcome!

    It's harmless.

    Yet despite all that, the spider doesn't pose a threat to humans. Even if it bites you, "a chicken can probably do more damage," Naskrecki said.
    I'll take my chances with the chicken.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloralScent View Post
    I'll take my chances with the chicken.
    Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on the harmless comment.

    But its prickly hairs aren't the birdeater's only line of defense; it also sports a pair of 2-inch-long (5 centimeters) fangs. Although the spider's bite is venomous, it's not deadly to humans. But it would still be extremely painful, "like driving a nail through your hand," Naskrecki said.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on the harmless comment.
    If I saw one of those, I think I would be GRABBING the gun!

  8. #7

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    Puppy-Sized Spider
    Never a cop around when ya need one.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post

    ...After catching the specimen he found in Guyana
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."



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  11. #9

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    Has AF seen this thread?

  12. #10

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    I have now...thanks HB.

    O_o

  13. #11

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    I have now...thanks HB.

    O_o

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  17. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    I have now...thanks HB.

    O_o
    y/w, bro. ~hugs~ Glad you could stop by.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)//I sell stuff here go buy nao!

  18. #16

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    Catch one of those, and you can probably train it to spin you a silk shirt.



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  20. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    Catch one of those, and you can probably train it to spin you a silk shirt.
    or up-armor it to attack cops and stray politicians.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)//I sell stuff here go buy nao!

  21. #18

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    Eats Birds?

    Chickens?

    Chicken fingers...

    Fingers?

    Yikes!

  22. #19

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    I wonder if they taste like crab. I saw an episode of Bizarre Foods where these little kids were going nuts for giant spiders on a stick and the guy (forgot his name) said they tasted like crab.

  23. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    I wonder if they taste like crab. I saw an episode of Bizarre Foods where these little kids were going nuts for giant spiders on a stick and the guy (forgot his name) said they tasted like crab.
    Andrew Zimmern? He is Bizarre, all by himself.

  24. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    Andrew Zimmern? He is Bizarre, all by himself.
    That's him. I like him. He did a Halloween special where he served people bugs, that was great.

    Note to self: If I have to throw a party after the shtf, don't serve cockroaches, no one likes them.

  25. #22

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    Out of all the tragedy in the world, this is what folks are getting assed up about.

    How a Harvard Scientist's Life Changed After He Killed a Puppy-Size Spider

    Harvard researcher Piotr Naskrecki was just doing his job when he ran into the one of the world’s largest spiders in Guyana and killed it. The Internet didn’t see it that way.

    When Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer for Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, blogged about the event two weeks ago, he and the spider—a Goliath birdeater he described as “puppy sized” and said made “the sound of little hooves in the night”—went viral. It also sparked an onslaught of rage.

    How could he have killed this innocent arthropod, commenters asked, referring not to the practical difficulties of subduing an invertebrate that weighs more than an iPhone 6 (AAPL), but to the perceived injustice of the execution.

    “You had to MURDER the poor thing so YOU could benefit? Pathetic.” said Lizbeth Hull on Naskrecki’s Facebook (FB)page.

    “Did you kill this amazing animal because you have to own it?” asked Ian Freedman.

    One person sent an e-mail saying that a member of Naskrecki’s family should be killed for what he did.

    Why did the scientist kill his specimen? Because, he says, that’s what he is supposed to do: put dead versions of rare insects into museums so they can be studied.

    “We usually bring these substances that are designed to put them down very gently,” he says, referring to the chemical compounds he uses to neutralize absurdly large arachnids. It’s almost like swatting at a spider you spot in your home, he says. (If you were to swat spiders with a baseball bat.)

    Perhaps the spider’s puppyish size inspired in the commentariat a puppyish affection for the animal, despite it being the physical manifestation of a Halloween nightmare. It weighed 170 grams, its body measured 10 centimeters, and its outstretched legs spanned about a foot from tip to tip. Spiders of the venomous Goliath birdeater breed belong to the same family as tarantulas, are covered with hair, have fangs, and are known to be aggressive. They snack mostly on insects, but also sometimes enjoy a bat, mouse, or snake.

    Naskrecki seems overwhelmed with the hate mail and says he stopped looking at blog comments long ago. He anticipated some public interest in the creature: Even before his blog post took off, the scientist had produced for sale an array of products featuring the spider’s image. Spider enthusiasts that aren’t satisfied by a single, searing glance at the photo can visit Naskrecki’s online store, at which $54.99 to $76.99 can buy you a tote bag, apron, mouse pad or mahogany desk organizer featuring its leggy, hairy likeness. Naskrecki says he spends far more to maintain the site than he makes from it, and that its purpose isn’t turning a profit, but encouraging others to celebrate the animals he has dedicated his life to studying.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles...most%20popular

  26. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Out of all the tragedy in the world, this is what folks are getting assed up about.
    Thanks to you, I'm now lucid dreaming with a Glock .45 under my pillow each night.

  27. #24



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  29. #25

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    9/11 Thermate experiments

    Winston Churchhill on why the U.S. should have stayed OUT of World War I

    "I am so %^&*^ sick of this cult of Ron Paul. The Paulites. What is with these %^&*^ people? Why are there so many of them?" YouTube rant by "TheAmazingAtheist"

    "We as a country have lost faith and confidence in freedom." -- Ron Paul

    "It can be a challenge to follow the pronouncements of President Trump, as he often seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute." -- Ron Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No need to make it a superhighway.
    Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
    The only way I see Trump as likely to affect any real change would be through martial law, and that has zero chances of success without strong buy-in by the JCS at the very minimum.

  30. #26

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    That would scare the crap outta me!

    Quote Originally Posted by jmdrake View Post

  31. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    Out of all the tragedy in the world, this is what folks are getting assed up about.
    Cute cuddly spider.

  32. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody's_hero View Post
    Cute cuddly spider.
    Just like a puppy...



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