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Prehistoric Tarantulas

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by johnharper, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. johnharper

    johnharper Arachnobaron Old Timer

    How big was the prehistoric tarantulas that roamed the Earth before the modern day ones?

  2. reverendsterlin

    reverendsterlin Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I would guess no large than modern T's, maybe slightly larger from the lower oxygen levels but like most modern animals size isn't usually advantageous and the exoskeleton will only support so much size/weight.
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  3. Travis K

    Travis K TravIsGinger Old Timer

    wouldn't lower O levels bring on smaller species?:cool:
  4. Travis K

    Travis K TravIsGinger Old Timer

  5. matthias

    matthias Arachnobaron

    "Arachnophobes can rejoice in the knowledge that there have been no foot-long super spiders in Earth's history."

    Really there aren't? could have fooled me. Oh well I'm going to go back to feeding my 12in T. blondi and let them know that 12 inches no longer equals a foot.
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  6. Travis K

    Travis K TravIsGinger Old Timer

    12" eh? Let see some pics.:liar:
  7. Kid Dragon

    Kid Dragon Arachnoprince Old Timer

  8. traxfish

    traxfish Arachnosquire

    Those were Eurypterids, which were large marine relatives of the arachnids. They were in the subphylum Chelicerata like the arachnids so they were sorta a sister class.

    Now, I know it is still not a tarantula, but there was Brontoscorpio anglicus, which was a meter long aquatic true scorpion.

    There was talks about a 2' giant spider called Megarachne, which Walking with Monsters talked about, but halfway though the show they identified the fossil as another Eurypterid. Not wanted to scrap what they had done so far Walking with Monsters just renamed it Mesothelae, which in actuality is a privative suborder of spiders still hanging on in eastern Asia. These spiders are so privative they have segmented abdomens and do not have venom.

    I believe that the largest spider ever known remains T. blondi :clap:
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  9. Yung Cae$ar

    Yung Cae$ar Arachnopeon

    I think there was a documentary from walking with dinosaurs showing a prehistoric mygalomorph hunting this lizard. They said they were around a foot in length. If im not mistaken its hosted on youtube.
  10. The known prehistoric theraphosid as well as mygalomorph spiders both can be compaired with the smaller theraphosid species...
    Find the details. One of the paper describing this is available free on-line (at least i've found it).
    THat's gives you some clue...
  11. Kid Dragon

    Kid Dragon Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Actually its as prehistoric as tarantulas get without leaving the class Arachnida. These are prehistoric prehistoric tarantulas, before tarantulas were tarantulas. Its like tracing Madonna all the way back to Marilyn Monroe, pretty exciting stuff. ;)
  12. T_ROY

    T_ROY Arachnosquire

    I think there is a SEA SPIDER in australia thats gets about a foot.
  13. xBurntBytheSunx

    xBurntBytheSunx Arachnoprince Old Timer

    i thought i'd read somewhere there was a spider with a 17" carapace...
  14. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoengineer Arachnosupporter


    However, on to the topic at hand. Just going to leave this here.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. AntikInsomniak

    AntikInsomniak Arachnopeon

    Mygalomorphs in general are considered to be an older "version" of spider. Tarantulas also fitting into this category. I guess one could argue that as far as the term 'prehistoric' goes, that mygalomorphs are prehistoric spiders that are lucky enough to still exist today. Whereas araneomorphs are more or less a newer version of spider. Mesothelea (suborder), which is very comparable in a lot of ways to mygalomorphs are also thought to be a more ancient version of spider. Their anatomy and physiology are indicative of this, which also parallels a lot of the features of the infraorder mygalomorphae.

    This is an interesting thread, and when I have some time this weekend, I'll try to research this and post a bunch of literature pertaining to the idea.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. dragonfire1577

    dragonfire1577 Arachnobaron

    Yeah the fossil record has no evidence of anything bigger than T. blondi as far as i'm aware which sucks because i'd like to see a massive spider imprinted on a rock lol I mean i suppose the megarachne fossil looks enough like it could be a spider but It's not actually a spider which sorta ruins the excitement as there were bigger sea scorpion species anyway.
  17. ophidia

    ophidia Arachnopeon

    Higher oxygen levels + inefficient respiration like in Mygalomorphs (or most... all? terrerstrial inverts)= larger. Lower (like now) = smaller.