Wednesday, October 21 2009 @ 02:42 PM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
Tue Oct 20, 8:47 PM
By Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press
For anyone who suffers from arachnophobia, it might be advisable to read no further.
That's because this is a story about a spider - a very BIG spider.
Researchers have discovered an entirely new species of arachnid, and its gargantuan female members represent the largest of its family ever found.
Dubbed Nephila komaci, this sucker has a tip-to-tip leg span of about 12 centimetres, including a body almost four centimetres wide. To get an idea how big that is, imagine the size of a man's hand or a small saucer.
"They look like they're all legs ... They live in webs, right, so they're spindly, relatively delicate spiders," said Jonathan Coddington, an arachnologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, one of the scientists who identified the new species.
"If you were standing there, you wouldn't say that. You would probably freak out. Most people do."