Giant Golden Orb Weaver
Don't worry I haven't forgotten about Spider Saturday, but in celebration of the Sholesonian's 'Birthday' yesterday I'm giving you guys the spider of the Natural History Collection. This behemoth of a spider is over eight inches long and I have actually included a standard US quarter for scale. This particular guy comes from Jember, East Java, Indonesia so if you aren't particularly fond of large orb weaving spiders you might want to cancel next year's vacation plans to Indonesia. But really these Giant Golden Orb Weavers (Nephila maculata) are essentially completely harmless to humans. They do have some venom but it isn't deadly to humans.
So hopefully you enjoy this monstrous beast, and if you would like some more information on these giant spiders just check this link. Also if you are interested in getting one of these guys email the museum and I can direct you where you can get one without having to travel to Indonesia. Also, it may be interesting to note that the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has a spider pavilion which does have Nephila maculata among other large arachnids, where you can walk around check them out.
Also, I will work on taking a better photograph. There is some nice intricate golden designs on the body that you might not be able to see.