This species is found in the coastal rainforests of Surinam, Guyana and French Guiana, but isolated specimens have also been reported from Venezuela and Brazil. , Hünicken wrongly identified the specimen as a mygalomorph spider (the group that includes tarantulae) based on the shape of the carapace, the 15-millimetre (0.59 in) wide circular eye tubercle (round outgrowth) located in the center of the head between the two eyes and a circular structure behind the first body segment which he identified as the "moderately hairy" abdomen. Th… However, it's probably more afraid of you than you are of it, since humans who live in its habitat catch it and cook it (tastes like shrimp). Real (or imagined) threats may cause the spider to spin, striking out with spiked rear legs. Because of its status as the "largest spider to have ever lived", Megarachne quickly became popular. For a full list of record titles, please use our Record Application Search. The Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera) or banana spider looks like a tarantula, but it isn't one. with beetle prey, Ulu Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia. The Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) is the world's largest spider … It's not the biggest spider on the list, but it's the scariest. However, the holotype was by then deposited in a bank vault so other paleontologists only had access to plaster casts.  A research team led by the British paleontologist and arachnologist Paul A. Selden and also consisting of Hünicken and Argentinean arachnologist José A. Corronca reexamined the holotype in light of the new discovery. Where It Lives: Old growth trees or old building in Sri Lanka and India. But remember: knowledge is power! They mostly come at night. Shining the spotlight on celebrity creepy-crawlies, How to set or break a Guinness World Records title. The Southern Hemisphere, where Argentina was and still is located, may even have experienced glaciation with large continental ice sheets similar to the modern glacial ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, or smaller glaciers in dispersed centers. Get the facts about these creepy crawly species and find out exactly where they live so that you can plan your vacation accordingly. The face-sized tarantula (Poecilotheria rajaei) has adapted to deforestation in Sri Lanka, to make its home in abandoned buildings. Dunlop, J. The cladogram below is adapted from Lamsdell and colleagues (2010) and shows the relationship of Megarachne within the suborder Stylonurina. The king baboon spider (Pelinobius muticus) lives in East Africa and slowly grows to 7.9 inches (20 cm). , During Megarachne's time, Argentina and the rest of South America was part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana which was beginning to fuse with the northern continents of Euramerica, North China, Siberia and Kazakhstania to form Pangaea. Corporate Social Responsibility activities & fundraising ideas, Community engagement & tourism marketing activities.  Due to their fragmentary fossil record and similarities between the genera, some researchers have hypothesized that Megarachne and two other members of its family, Mycterops and Woodwardopterus, represent different developmental stages of a single genus. The world's largest known spider is a male goliath bird-eating spider (Theraphosa blondi) collected by members of the Pablo San Martin Expedition at Rio Cavro, Venezuela in April 1965. With length of 33.9 centimetres (13.3 in, this estimate was based on the assumption that the fossil was of a spider) and a legspan estimated to be 50 centimetres (20 in), Megarachne servinei would have been the largest spider to have ever existed, far exceeding the goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) which has a Its barbed hairs present a greater threat, as they can lodge in the skin and eyes, producing itching and irritation for days. Where It Lives: In burrows in the rainforests and swamps of northern South America. , In comparison to the comparatively warm climate of the earlier parts of the Carboniferous, the Late Carboniferous was relatively cold globally. Tarantulas don't only live in Central and South America. Mostly.  The environment of the Bajo de Véliz formation was, unlike the typical living environments of eurypterids (especially the swimming eurypterids of the suborder Eurypterina), a freshwater environment in a floodplain. The holotype (now stored at the Museum of Paleontology at the National University of Córdoba) was recovered from the Pallero Member of the Bajo de Véliz Formation of Argentina, which has been dated to the Gzhelian age, 303.7 to 298.9 million years ago. The largest spiders produce sounds (stridulation) loud enough for humans to hear. If the original identification as a spider had been correct, Megarachne would have been the largest known spider to have ever lived. Huntsman spiders are recognizable by the twisted orientation of their legs, which gives them a crab-like walk. , During the production of the 2005 British documentary Walking with Monsters, Megarachne was slated to appear as a giant tarantula-like spider hunting the cat-sized reptile Petrolacosaurus in the segment detailing the Carboniferous, with the reconstruction closely following what was thought to be known of the genus at the time the series began production. Actually, it's named for the resemblance between its legs and a baboon's fingers. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Discussion", "The true identity of the supposed giant fossil spider Megarachne – 3. If you like, you can keep one as a pet. Additional hidden structures – such as a sternum and labium, coxae and cheliceral fangs – were also extrapolated from the X-radiographs. Instead, the blades on the frontal appendages of Megarachne would have allowed it to sweep-feed, raking through the soft sediment of the rivers it inhabited in order to capture and feed on small invertebrates. The largest spiders can eat small birds, lizards, frogs, and fish.