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Giant Spider
posted Mon, Dec 5 2005, 2:44am
In the magazine "Fortean Times" about 5 months ago there was an article by Karl Shucker about a Giant Spider that is said to exist in the Congo. I have been looking for more information as it was intresting reading that there may be a spider with a 3 foot leg span in exsistance. There was also a report about an Austrailian solider who encountered a giant Black spider about the size of a puppy in a web, does anybody have any ideas about this or know where I can get some more information?
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Re: Giant Spider
posted Mon, Dec 5 2005, 9:59am
Apparently the natives eat themn regularly. ;)

Anyways, the issue with the giant spider thing is that, while there have been significantly larger spiders in the past, the atmosphere also had a slightly different composition. Under the current conditions, the spider's breathing mechanism, called a book-lung, can't operate efficiently enough to keep a spider like that alive. I'm not saying it's impossible, but the odds against it are like nothing else. At the very least it would require either some incredible new adaption or, perhaps, human intervention? It's also plausible that a symbiosis could form with some microorganism that assisted the lung functions, but like I said it's very unlikely.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Mon, Dec 5 2005, 10:53am
Regarding the existence of 'significantly larger spiders in the past' I remember speculation a while ago that Megarachne may have been a eurypterid, and not a spider after all.Clicky
Anyone have more recent news about this?
Re: Giant Spider
posted Mon, Dec 5 2005, 12:14pm
DarthDoughnut is right about modern spiders being restricted in size by their respiratory system. However, there are many spiders who have longer leg-length to body-size ratio than others. Tarantulas tend to have relatively short legs compared to many orb-web spiders who's bodies - pound for pound - are also lighter than a tarantula. The Goliath Spider is built like a tarrantula and has a leg span of 30cm. An orb web spider of similar - but lighter - body size could technically have a leg span of twice that, but obviously if you're an orb web spider once you get past a certain weight rather than size life on a web becomes difficult. A jungle would certainly provide enough insects to keep an orb web spider happy. Orb webs should however be relatively easy to spot.
All in all, I don't think these are althogether inprobable cryptids but if they do exist, my gut feeling is they'd have disproportionatly long legs.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Tue, Dec 6 2005, 11:29am
I suppose that's possible, but I'd think it would probably have to be a bit bulky to be a regular food item on the native's menus, as the one account I've seen stated. What about potential restrictions shifting from weight to leg length? There might be difficulty in circulating oxygen to distant legs as well.

And the megarachne thing, been aware of it for a while (popped up quite a while ago) and while I suppose it might qualify as a candidate, it's one of the most unlikely "living fossils" I could think of, not to mention the prospect of it living in the middle of africa. As far as I last heard it was a sea-dweller.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Thu, Dec 8 2005, 4:44pm
Err, I didn't mean I thought Megarachne was still crawling around Africa, I meant that if it was actually a euryptid then our evidence for giant prehistoric spiders grows pretty thin........
Re: Giant Spider
posted Mon, Dec 5 2005, 8:15pm
I think that a lot of those reports have something to do with the fact that most people hav´nt seen spiders(or, in various "lake monster sightings", fish) at the upper size limit. The first time you see a REALLY BIG spider(or sturgeon) in real life, just beside you, you´re absolutely blown away by the size...No doubt that a person not used to seeing large spiders would say that they´ve just seen "a puppy in a web", I would´ve said the same the first time I saw a really big tarantula.

Peter
Re: Giant Spider
posted Tue, Dec 6 2005, 9:06am
If I saw a spider with a three foot legspan, I'd run far far away.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Tue, Dec 6 2005, 12:40pm
Wright behind ya Phoenix.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Thu, Dec 8 2005, 9:43am
I dont think it's inconcievible that a spider that big could have adapted and evolved to it's enviorment. Perhaps there is a spider that big, it's just changed from the spiders that we are aware of.
Anything is posible...
Kim
Re: Giant Spider
posted Sat, Jun 24 2006, 11:07pm
2 words: Fly swat.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Thu, Jan 12 2006, 5:25am
In South America there is plenty of kinds of spiders that are huge. One of them are the chicken eating spider. (Its not really a chicken eater, but there was sightings of it sometimes it killing some of them)
Re: Giant Spider
posted Sat, Sep 30 2006, 7:37am
Yes, about that Congo spider I can give you a few leads. One of my friends, Dr. Bill Cooper, is in contact with Bill Gibbons, who has led several searches for the Mokele Mbembe, while at the same time accumulating information on other cryptids in the area. He mentioned the Congo Spider in his expedition report:

"In 1938, Mr. & Mrs. R.K. Lloyd of London, England were driving along a forest road in the former Belgian Congo, when they became aware of a large animate object moving across the road ahead of them. At first they took the object to be a large monkey or jungle cat. However, as they approached the creature, the Lloyd’s curiosity turned to horror as they came face-to-face with a gigantic brown spider. Mr. Lloyd attempted unsuccessfully to retrieve his camera as the giant arachnid simply walked into the forest and disappeared. On this third expedition to Equatorial Africa, I (Gibbons) took the opportunity to enquire if the pygmies knew of such a creature, and indeed they did! The Baka word for spider is Fofi (pronounced foo fee), and Jba means ‘great.’ They speak of the Jba Fofi, which is a ‘giant’ or ‘great spider’. They described a spider that is generally brown in color with a purple abdomen. They grow to quite an enormous size with a leg span of at least five feet. The giant arachnids weave together a lair made of leaves similar in shape to a traditional pygmy hut, and spin a circular web (said to be very strong) between two trees with a strand stretched across a game trail. These giant ground-dwelling spiders prey on the diminutive forest antelope (duiker), birds, and other small game, and are said to be extremely dangerous, not to mention highly venomous. The spiders are said to lay white, peanut-sized eggs in a cluster, and the pygmies give them a wide birth when encountered, but have killed them in the past. The giant spiders were once very common but are now a rare sight. Their dwindling numbers are blamed on the continuing deforestation of their habitat, but they are still encountered from time to time. The Baka chief, Timbo, casually mentioned to us that a giant spider had taken up residence in the forest just behind his village in November 2000, when I (Gibbons) and Dave Woetzel from New Hampshire had visited him! He did not think that we would have been interested in the creature as our interest was focused on Mokele-mbembe at the time! Valuable evidence had eluded us."

Hope this is useful to you.
Re: Giant Spider
posted Thu, Oct 22 2009, 1:17pm
Thats great gave me some more info, thanks
Re: Giant Spider
posted Thu, Feb 18 2010, 11:38am
thanks for the info ive been looking for info like that to confirm my assumtoins on the spider and the habitat that they inhabit and what kind of things or wildlife are in their dietary and the aggression level that they express to people who coexist with them and there natural reproductive activities are thet hemaphrodite or coupled i need this information for a grant im getting to study this certain species and to further undesrstand them and it would very gratefu if you could write back or message and it would be very helpful if you could anwser any of these question

thank you/ zero


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