"This Mesothelae Spider is the size of a humans head. She'd be hunting cats if she were alive today."

Mesothelae was a species of giant prehistoric spiders of the Carboniferous, able to hunt down animals as big as modern cats if they were alive today.



These spiders lived during the Carboniferous period 350-280 million years ago.


Mesothelae spiders were very large compared to modern spiders. Their bodies alone, minus their legs, were the size of a human head, making them the largest spiders that ever existed.


A Walking with Monsters - Life Before Dinosaurs PDVD 011

Like most modern spiders, Mesothelae spiders were ambush predators, operating from their underground headquarters. When safe inside their whole, they rested their legs on carefully constructed trip lines that allowed them to pick up vibrations from outside. Once they had, caught, and killed their prey, the spiders took their food back to their layer and injected them with digestive juices to dissolve them from the inside.

However, whenever their headquarters flooded because of rising waters, Mesothelae spiders had to evacuate. Unlike the modern trapdoor spiders of today, Mesothelae spiders couldn't dig, so they had to find another hole they could adapt and once outside, they were vulnerable to larger predators and these spiders didn't like to share holes even with their own kind.