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Giant Spider

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Unknown arthropod Inverteb rate of Central 
Africa and Australasia.

Physical description: Huge spider.

Distribution: Democratic Republic of the 
Congo; Papua New Guinea.

Significant sightings: R. K. Lloyd and his wife 
were motoring in the Democratic Republic of the 
Congo in 1938 when they saw a large object 
crossing the trail in front of them. At first, they 
thought it was a cat or a monkey, but they soon 
realized it was a spider with legs nearly 3 feet long.

An Australian soldier, on patrol along the 
Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in the fall 
of 1942, claims to have run across a spider the 
size of a puppy dog that had spun a 10- to 15- 
foot web.

Present status: The largest known living spider 
is the Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) of 
northern South America, a tarantula with a 13- 
inch legspan and a body length of 3.5 inches. 
Other big species are the Brazilian salmon tarantula 
(Lasiodora parahybana) and the Brazilian 
tawnyred (Grammostola mollicoma), both with 
legspans of 10 inches. The largest known fossil 
spider was Megarachne servinei, a 16-inch-long 
giant with a legspan greater than 20 inches that 
lived in San Luis Province, Argentina, 300 million 
years ago, during the Carboniferous period.

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