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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.

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