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Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Insect Hunter in Amazon Rainforest

Piotr Nascrecki

This enormous tarantula will give you one more reason to hate spiders. 

Etymologist Piotr Naskrecki happened upon on this puppy-sized spider while he was hunting for insects in the Amazon a few years ago.

Nasrecki wrote on his photo blog that he was looking for bugs when he “heard the rustle of an animal running,” in the leaves on the forest floor. You can imagine his surprise when that “animal” turned out to be a gargantuan tarantula, with legs nearly a foot long.

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Piotr Nascrecki

Known as the South American Goliath Bird-Eater, this critter holds the Guinness world record for the largest spider species.

Bird-Eater? This thing looks like it could chow down a fawn and have room for seconds.

theraphosa
Piotr Nascrecki

The spider defends itself by releasing a cloud of hairs with microscopic barbs from its abdomen.

“‘Oh how cute!’, I thought when I first saw the adorable behavior,” Naskrecki wrote. “Until a cloud of urticating hair hit my eyeballs, and made me itch and cry for several days.”

Luckily, it isn’t venomous to humans.

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Piotr Nascrecki

“For all the arachnophobes out there this is probably a good excuse to pave over large swaths of the Amazonian rainforest, but for the rest of us this species is one of the biodiversity’s crown jewels,” Naskrecki wrote.

Yeah, no thanks. After seeing this puppy-sized spider and all the other ungodly creatures we’ve seen from the Amazon, we’re fine with keeping our woodland adventures stateside.

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Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Insect Hunter in Amazon Rainforest