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  • They're Relatively Harmless To Humans on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#12) They're Relatively Harmless To Humans

    The Goliath birdeater really just wants to be left alone. The only time they attack humans is when threatened. If you keep your distance, you'll be fine. While Goliath birdeaters are venomous spiders, they usually won't use their venom on humans. If they do, at worst you'll suffer some pain and swelling; their venomous bite is likened to a wasp sting. 

    However, they usually deliver a dry bite, or one with no venom. 

  • It's The Most Massive Spider Species In The World on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#1) It's The Most Massive Spider Species In The World

    It should be no surprise a spider that can eat birds is huge. The Goliath is (quite literally) massive. It is the largest spider in the world in body size and mass. Its body length can reach 11.9 cm (about 4.5 inches) in length; some Goliath birdeaters have been known to reach lengths of 11 inches, which is about as big as a dinner plate.

    Goliath birdeater leg span can reach 28 cm, and the spiders weigh around 175 grams, which is a little less than half a pound (what do you want, it's a spider, not an elephant). The only larger spider by any measure is the giant huntsman, which has a longer leg span

  • Females Live For Decades, Males A Few Years on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#9) Females Live For Decades, Males A Few Years

    Female Goliath birdeaters have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years but can live as long as 25 years in the wild. Males live three to six years, since they die not long after their first successful mating and reach sexual maturity at some point between the ages of three and six years. The longest a male has lived after mating is a year.

  • Three New Species Of Birdeater Tarantulas Were Discovered In 2017 on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#11) Three New Species Of Birdeater Tarantulas Were Discovered In 2017

    In March 2017, three new species of bird-eating spiders were discovered in the jungles of Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil by Caroline Sayuri Fukushima of the Sau Paulo Institute. The discoveries were part of a project to help better document and track tarantulas of the Avicularia genus, the classification of which Fukushima describes as "a huge mess."

    These animals belong to a different genus than the Goliath birdeater, which makes you wonder how many giant birdeating tarantula species there are in the world. 

  • Males Die Not Long After Mating on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#4) Males Die Not Long After Mating

    Male Goliath birdeaters typically die a few months after mating, having fulfilled their biological function. The female spins a web, lays 50 to 200 eggs in that web, gathers the web into a ball, and carries it around. Carrying the egg sac makes Goliath birdeaters unique among tarantula species. 

  • Despite The Name, They Mostly Eat Worms on Random Facts About The Goliath Birdeater, An Unexpectedly Gentle Giant

    (#7) Despite The Name, They Mostly Eat Worms

    While it's true Goliath birdeaters attack and eat small birds, they rarely manage to catch avian prey in the wild. In fact, they subsist primarily on worms, supplemented with typical giant spider fare such as insects, lizards, frogs, toads, and even the occasional snake. 

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