Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giant fish-eating spiders reintroduced to British countryside

From TravelAol.co.uk:  Giant fish-eating spiders reintroduced to British countryside

Arachnophobes may want to look away now... ecologists have released hundreds of the UK's largest breed of spider into the wild - and they can grow up to 8cm long.

The great raft spider has been saved following a breeding programme in 10 zoos, that saw thousands of spiderlings being reared for reintroduction to their former base in the Norfolk Broads.

This arachnid is so big is it capable of catching and eating a fish as it glides across the water, according to the Daily Mail.

But, before you scream in horror, these spiders only live in wetlands, so you won't be finding them in your living room anytime soon.

Around 200 baby spiders have already been released at the RSPB's Strumpshaw Fen reserve near Norwich.

Giant fish-eating spiders reintroduced to British countrysideSWNS

Bristol Zoo Gardens keeper Carmen Solan raised 170 of the arachnids, using a special tube operated with her mouth to feed the tiny babies dead flies.

The ecologist, who has been working with fen raft spiders for 20 years, said the conservation programme is mainly concerned with giving the spiders the best chance in the wild, according to the BBC.

By rearing the spiderlings in isolation, project staff can boost their survival rates by as much as 90%, which in turn gives them a greater chance of success in the wild.


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