The largest spider species is thought to be the camel spider, which measures approximately six inches (15.24cm) and weighs about two ounces (56 g) on average. Camel spiders originate in the Middle East, and are also among the fastest spiders, reaching up to 10 miles (16 km) per hour. Their jaws comprise one-third of the entire length of their body and are used to crush their prey, such as small birds, rodents, lizards, and insects. While they don’t release toxic venom when they bite, the camel spider does release a digestive fluid onto its prey that causes their flesh to liquefy upon contact for easier digestion.
More about the camel spider:
- The camel spider is thought to be named after the old wives’ tale that the creature jumps up and eats the stomach of camels.
- A common myth is that camel spiders chase humans and camels to attack them; however, the spider actually dislikes the open sun and is attracted to the shade provided by larger objects.
- Camel spiders only have eight legs even though it looks like they have 10 – the other two appendages are actually sensory organs.