With a leg span nearly a foot wide, the goliath bird-eater is the world's biggest spider. And it has a special defense mechanism to keep predators from considering it as a meal.
When camouflage as a defense is not an option, learn to stand your ground with the goliath bird-eating spider.
It's a tarantula with a slight PR problem.
It's nearly foot-long leg span could cover a person's head.
But bird-eating? Practically never.
It prowls the Amazon mainly in search of insects, with the occasional frog or rodent, like this one.
Fangs almost an inch long pump neurotoxins into the dying mouse.
The spider hauls it back to its burrow, liquefying the insides before sucking its meal dry.
But this fearsome predator has predators of its own.
There are some mammals and snakes that would make short work of it...and it can't hide if it doesn't even know they are there-its eyesight is poor.
But this one's luck, though, is spot on.
Usually, the spider relies on vibration-sensitive hairs to warn it of danger.
Tonight, danger takes the form of a coati. The spider bares its fangs, warning-back off or be bitten. But the coati isn't frightened.
The spider needs a long-range weapon. Fortunately it has one-many actually.
Other hairs on its body are tipped with tiny stinging barbs.
By rubbing its legs, it flicks them up into the air in a cloud of miniature missiles. Like tiny slivers, they burn eyes, nose and mouth.
The coati's appetite is gone. And so is the goliath bird-eater.