Colorado crowns new spider champ


(KUSA/NBC News) Colorado State University has crowned a new champion in their annual “How-Big-Is-Your Cat-faced Spider Contest.”

Each year they seek out the largest cat-faced spider that can be found.

“We’ve been running this for 11 years and we’ve had some real big entries,” explains Whitney Cranshaw, a Colorado State University Extension Specialist in the entomology department. “At the end of the year we announce a winner and they get a trophy and a fabulous prize.”

This year, the winning spider shattered the competition. Weighing in at nearly four grams, ‘Princess Raya’ was 25% bigger than any other spider ever entered into Cranshaw’s competition. She was named after the person who found her. 

“When that walked through the door it made my day. It was great to see a really nice one, and we’ve seen some beauties over the years,” said Cranshaw. “This was a class by itself. And it came from a 9-year-old.”

Raya Davis-Thompson found the spider in her backyard. She was crowned champion and beat out people much older than her. 

“This year we had the biggest ever. By far,” said Cranshaw. “All-time state champ.”

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