Tarantula in size of human face discovered in Sri Lanka
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The spider’s leg span is 20 centimeters, with researchers comparing its circumference with the size of a dinner plate.A large species of tarantula, roughly the size of a human face, has been discovered in Sri Lanka, Yahoo news has reported. And while the venom of the Poecilotheria rajaei is not lethal to humans, there is little doubt the abnormal size of the spider could be disturbing, even to those not afflicted with arachnophobia.
The spider’s leg span is a reported nearly 20 centimeters, with researchers comparing its circumference with the size of a dinner plate. It’s covered in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow and gray.
The tarantula was officially discovered by the British Tarantula Society, at least one official society dedicated to tarantulas.
“It can be quite attractive, unless spiders freak you out,” said Peter Kirk, editor of the British Tarantula Society journal, in an interview with the New York Daily News. “I absolutely would love to see DNA sampling done on all the species of Poecilotheria,” he said in a separate interview with Wired.
Another observation sure to prove unsettling for those not comfortable with the idea of spiders the size of dinner plates is that they have taken to living inside human dwellings.
Ramil Nanayakkara, co-founder of Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Education and Research, told Wired, “They prefer well-established old trees, but due to deforestation the number have dwindled, and due to lack of suitable habitat they enter old buildings.”
The tarantula was technically first uncovered in 2009, when a local villager brought the body of a deceased rajaei to Nanayakkara. But because Sri Lanka is undergoing a dangerous civil war, he was forced to recruit a police officer to assist him as they conducted a search of the island nation’s forests for living specimens.