Tanya Lewis (Live Science) writes about Piotr Naskrecki’s close encounter in Guyana rainforest with the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the world’s largest spider (according to Guinness World Records). Belonging to the tarantula family, its legs can reach up to one foot (30 centimeters) and it can weigh up to 6 ounces (170 grams). Wikipedia explains that it is the second largest by leg-span—second to the giant huntsman spider—but may be the largest in mass.
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.
For full article, see http://m.livescience.com/48340-goliath-birdeater-surprises-scientist.html