I cultivate garden spiders (usually of the genus/species Argiope Aurantia and more recently of the genus/species Araneus Saevus). I very much enjoy watching their web-building and trapping techniques, studying their individual behaviors, and even watching how each new generation is a variation upon the preceding generation.
However I would love to encounter a spider like this and to study its behavior, hunting techniques, and defense mechanisms. That is the naturalist and scientist in me.
The fictional writer and the gamer in me sees enormous opportunities in creatures like this.
From modifying the size, the appearance, the drives, the “intelligence,” the defense mechanisms, the hunting techniques, and the prey. I can even imagine such things, natural or artificial, as spies (remote or organic), agents, or even a sort or familiar. The possibilities are limited only by one’s own imagination.
The Real World is always the very best source of fiction. The Real World is the Real Monster of All Possibilities.
by Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer | October 17, 2014 07:42pm ET
goliath birdeater spider
The South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) is the world’s largest spider, according to Guinness World Records. Its legs can reach up to one foot (30 centimeters) and it can weight up to 6 oz. (170 grams).
Credit: Piotr Naskrecki
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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.
Known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Therapho