Scientists excited to spot a huge spider eating an opossum

Researchers find giant tarantula eating oposum record it instead of fleeing in terror

The video was recently shared by the University of MI, and it contains a sight no arachnophobe wants to see - a young possum completely covered by a huge, hairy tarantula, which was spotted easily dragging it back to its den.

A team of researchers led by University of MI biologists found some surprising things about the diets of large spiders and centipedes in the Amazon, according to a news release from the university.

A journal article that highlights the scary observation was published in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation.

"A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to arthropods such as big spiders and centipedes", said University of MI associate professor Daniel Rabosky in the release.

The study "details instances of arthropod predators - mostly large spiders along with a few centipedes and a giant water bug - preying on vertebrates such as frogs and tadpoles, lizards, snakes, and even a small opossum".

An enormous tarantula - about as big as a dinner plate - rustled across the leaves on the ground, dragging away its victim - a small opossum, first kicking and then going limp in the spider's jaws.

The tarantula was the size of a dinner plate, and the young mouse opossum was about the size of a softball, according to a university statement.

Grundler's sister Maggie pulled out her cellphone and shot photos and some video.

Robert Voss, a mammologist at the American Museum of Natural History, said it was the first encounter of its kind documented, Fox news reported.

Video of a large tarantula dragging off an opossum is a little gruesome, but it also provides new insight into the lives of animals in the Amazon rainforest. To do this, they carried out night surveys by walking through the forest with flashlights and headlamps and scanning the foliage for signs of activity.

He and his colleagues then watched a tarantula attack a mouse opossum, striking it in its neck, according to the report.

"We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn't really believe what we were seeing", Grundler said in the release.

Majority were recorded at night; most of the predators recorded were spiders; and most of the prey were amphibians. While the tarantula in the genus Pamphobeteus will usually jump at the chance to eat a frog, it allows individuals of one species, the dotted humming frog (Chiasmocleis royi), to share its underground burrow. "We knew we were witnessing something pretty special, but we weren't aware that it was the first observation until after the fact".

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