I just got the best pet in the world. A Goliath Birdeater, a spider that's been shipped from the Amazon Rain Forest to my little abode in New Jersey.
My Goliath Birdeater has the dubious honor of being the largest arachnid in the world. It's about the size of a puppy. And although it's kind of small now, being that it's only a baby, when it's full grown, its leg span will be well over a foot.
Already, it's a pretty big little fellow. When it walks around the house, it sounds like a small horse prancing. The thing's got free reign of my place. Just like those crazy people who raise wolves like domesticated canines, I have developed my own personal credo of "the man who lives with spiders."
I took a picture of Herman the other day out back, in my back yard. You can see what my spider looks like by cutting and pasting the following link in your Internet address bar: http://www.livescience.com/48339-goliath-birdeater-spider-photos.html
Cute, isn't he?
Although there are dog shows, I'm looking over the Greater NYC papers to try to find if there are any spider shows. I want to grab a trophy for me and Herman. Oh wait, he's crawling up my leg. Oh Herman, you get off there, right now, go play in the kitchen!
I guess Herman's scientific name is Theraphosa blondi. So he's certifiably a creature recognized by the scientific community. He's made his mark in the world, along with all his brothers and sisters, most of which are crawling around in South America.
Herman's a well-equipped warrior. He has three ways in which he protects himself from any prey that wants to bug him: he rubs his legs against his stomach, thus creating a nasty cloud of tiny, barbed hairs that get in the eyes and mucous membranes of any enemy crazy enough to want to mess with him; thus causing extreme pain and itching for days. Herman also has two-inch-long fangs strong enough to pierce a mouse's skull. And it can make a hissing sound by rubbing its hairs together, which sounds like pulling Velcro apart.
No kidding. And although he's just a puppy right now and is trying to learn all these tricks, when Herman gets a little bit bigger, I'm sure he'll be well versed in all these terror tactics.
To be honest with you, I was thinking of purchasing a guard dog, since these days, with all the potential vampires walking around in almost any place you might live in America, it's good to have an ally and a "man's best friend" as a vanguard.
But then I saw an advertisement for Herman in a print magazine I subscribe to, Amazon Creatures In Need of a Good Home.
Herman is such a joker. Although him and his kind have the name of "Birdeater" as a surname, these spiders don't actually eat birds, although they're quite capable of pulling off such a Herculean stunt. And when Herman's full grown, I honestly believe that he'll be able to get into a knock-down, drag-out fight with a bald eagle or a turkey vulture and come out on top.
He's absolutely amazing!
I just took another picture of Herman crawling around my botanical garden out back. Check it out: http://news.yahoo.com/goliath-encounter-puppy-sized-spider-surprises-scientist-rainforest-125720953.html
Isn't he cute?
Well it's time to feed Herman now and it's time to go. I'm going to make him some macaroni and cheese and a burger. He likes his meat medium rare.