The thing of nightmares! Tarantula the size of a human face discovered

The thing of nightmares! Tarantula the size of a human FACE discovered in Sri Lanka

By
Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:01 GMT, 4 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:25 GMT, 5 April 2013

If you're scared of spiders, you best look away now!

A new species of tarantula, as big as a human face, has been discovered in northern Sri Lanka.

With a leg span of eight inches, the search is continuing to find more of the Poecilotheria rajaei, after a dead arachnid was delivered to scientists having being killed in 2009.

Scroll down for video…

Hairy beast: A tarantula the size of a human face has been discovered in Sri Lanka

Hairy beast: A tarantula the size of a human face has been discovered in Sri Lanka

In the lair: Following a search, more giant tarantulas were discovered alive and well

In the lair: Following a search, more giant tarantulas were discovered alive and well

Scientists realised that they the spider was unlike any tarantula they had seen before, and needed to find more living specimens so as to learn more about the species.

And after days of searching among the trees and woodland, researchers from Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Education and Research organisation discovered a female and several juveniles – found living in the old doctor’s quarters of a hospital in Mankulam.

The tarantulas have distinctive markings including daffodil-yellow colouring on their legs and a pink band around their stomachs.

'They are quite rare, Ranil Nanayakkara told wired.co.uk.

'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.'

VIDEO: Tarantula size of a HUMAN FACE in Sri Lanka

DM.has('rcpv2278417431001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “VIDEO: Tarantula size of a HUMAN FACE in Sri Lanka”,
'videoId' : 1004485,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2278417431001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2278417431001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304180/The-thing-nightmares-Tarantula-size-human-face-discovered.html”

});

Longevity It is uncertain how far the species have been affected by deforestation in northern Sri Lanka

Longevity It is uncertain how far the species have been affected by deforestation in northern Sri Lanka

Speaking to Sky News Peter Kirk, who covered the discovery for the British Tarantula Society's journal said: 'It demonstrates that wildlife continues to survive whilst we are in the throes of conflict and that they can adapt to its changing environment – but also highlights that we risk destroying the habitats of species new to science and condemning them to extinction before they are even discovered.'