Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Cave Tarantula, Madagascar

Cave Spider, Madagascar

Originally uploaded by

I took a trip to Madagascar in October of 2001. While there, I visited the Ankarana site, where a huge limestone massif rises from the landscape. The formation is riddled with caves and other formations, such as tsingy (a geologic term that comes directly from Malagasy). I snapped this photo while walking through an vast cave, on the floor of which was a gigantic dune of bat guano.

Not long ago, Nova ran an episode called "Secrets of the Crocodile Caves" showing the very same species. They referred briefly to spider as "this poisonous tarantula." (Which is a little disconcerting, since I tried to get a for-scale shot of it by putting my thumb next to it.)

I'm curious to see whether anyone knows more about this particular spider. Has it been studied at all?


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