Newquay Zoo has welcomed the world’s heaviest tarantula to its community – a Goliath bird-eating tarantula.
Despite its name, the arachnid rarely feeds on birds, but eats insects and other invertebrates instead. An adult Goliath birdeater can weigh in at a spine tingling 170 grams – the same weight of a hamster. Since arrival, she has moulted her entire exoskeleton – the hard outer skeletal structure. Moulting allows the spider to grow, and to regenerate broken limbs. Her leg span is currently nine inches, and will continue to grow.
‘Whilst we appreciate that these aren’t everyone’s idea of cute and cuddly, they are fascinating creatures and we are thrilled to be working with them,’ says Newquay Zoo’s Curator of Animals, John Meek.
The Goliath comes from the upland rainforest regions of Suriname, Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela, you can visit this stunning slightly scary creature in the Tropical House.