Facebook | Justine Latton

People Are Terrified After Couple Posts Picture Of Spider Eating An Entire Possum

ryan.ford 19 Jun 2019

Australia is one of my favorite places in the world that I've ever visited. I loved it there. The people were warm and friendly, the scenery was gorgeous, the streets were all well laid out and clean, and I didn't eat a bad meal or drink a bad beverage while there.

So, it's probably fair to say that the country doesn't have a fair reputation online, what with all the jokes about the snakes and the jellyfish and the sharks and the crocodiles. But the stuff about the spiders might just be on point.

Australia is home to some spectacularly dangerous spiders.

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The redback spider, a cousin of the infamous black widow, calls Australia home, and although no fatalities from redback bites have been recorded since 1956, they still pack a nasty punch, causing pain, sweating, rapid heartbeats, and swollen lymph nodes.

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And then there's the funnel web spider, which HAS killed several people over the years.

Wikipedia

Not all of them are dangerous, but a number of them are recognized for their toxic venom.

According to Australian Museum, the males are the once most responsible for deaths or serious bites.

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There is also the Bolas spider that looks like a delectable piece of California sushi.

Twitter | @realscientists

They're also called the Magnificent Spider, and the females are the ones with the sushi-like markings.

They look a bit shocking, but thankfully they're not dangerous.

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The huntsman spider is not renowned as one of those terrifying Australian arachnids.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Huntsman-spider-in-hand.jpg

Sure, they're hairy and long-legged, and their bites aren't fun, but they're no funnel webs.

And yet, they've made it to the top of the list of spiders that have earned some newfound respect after an encounter with one went viral.

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Justine Latton and her husband, Adam, got the pic of a lifetime when they saw an ambitious huntsman punching above its weight and making a meal out of a possum.

Facebook | Justine Latton

The pair were staying at a "very rustic" ski lodge at Mt. Field National Park in Tasmania when they spotted the huntsman with its unlikely prey.

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Huntsman spiders typically don't grow terribly large, with a body length of up to 0.8 inches and a leg span of almost six inches.

Instagram | @lack_of_backbone

But Justine said that this was the largest her husband had ever seen.

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Meanwhile, the possum was one of the smallest around.

Facebook | Justine Latton

Most likely a species of pygmy possum, it was "about the size of a large walnut," Justine told ScienceAlert.

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Still, that's a big meal for a spider.

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Justine reckons the spider "probably just saw an opportunity and went for it," she told People.

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We've all seen spiders chow down on other insects they've caught in their web, so this must have been a sight to see.

Unsplash | Simon Maage

I think many of us would have been running right out of that room!

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After the photo session was done, Justine and Adam ushered the huntsman outside.

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The spider was not harmed, but it was obviously too late for the possum.

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Experts say it's rare, if not unprecedented, for a spider to go for a possum.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Captive_southwestern_pygmy_possum_at_Cleland_Wildlife_Park,_South_Australia_2013.jpg

"It's the first time I've seen a pygmy possum as prey," Graham Milledge, arachnology collection manager at Australia Museum, told The Guardian.

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