Science

Spider eating opossum: Tarantula drags, eats opossum in Amazon rainforest

Spider eating opossum: Tarantula drags, eats opossum in Amazon rainforest”

While spiders typically preyed on other smaller invertebrates like crickets and moths, sometimes they hunt larger creatures like frogs or lizards, said study leader Rudolf von May, whose paper appeared this week in the journal Amphibian & Reptile Conservation.

A tarantula the size of a dinner plate was recorded by scientists as it dragged a young opossum across the leaf-litter of the Amazon jungle.

A team of scientists from the University of MI documented more than a dozen "rare and disturbing predator-prey interactions", including video of the massive spider that preyed upon the small vertebrate.

In footage released by the University of MI, the huge spider-estimated to be around the size of a dinner plate-can be seen on top of the young mouse opossum, which was about the size of a softball. The opossum was still struggling weakly even with the tarantula grasping its neck then, but it eventually stopped kicking after about 30 seconds.

"This is an underappreciated source of mortality among vertebrates", University of MI evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky said in a press release.

Though such behaviours have been recorded before, the study provides more data about just how many vertebrates fall victim to small predators, particularly spiders.

Every interaction was brutal (in its own way), but none was perhaps as vicious as the late-night slaughter of a mouse opossum by a tarantula (theraphosid spider). They watched for about five minutes and were able to document the moment on video, before the spider hauled its prey behind a tree root to enjoy its meal in peace. "To see one taken down by an arthropod was very surprising".

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

According to the university, knowledge of these interactions remains limited.

As the researchers themselves said, "this is the stuff of nightmares".

They noted the opossum - around the size of a fist - was still alive when they spotted it.

He brings a group of researchers to the lowland Amazon rainforest in a remote part of southeastern Peru once or twice a year. "And considering that there are hundreds of invertebrates that potentially prey upon vertebrates, the number of possible interactions between species is huge, and we are highlighting that fact in this paper".

"Tarantula predation on vertebrates is not a common thing, but it does happen". 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.

Later, an opossum expert from the American Museum of Natural History confirmed that the video was the "first documentation of a large mygalomorph spider [tarantula] preying on an opossum".



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


02 March 2019
Lyft files for IPO, to kick off roadshow later this month
Lyft is now valued at $15bn, just seven years after it was founded by technology entrepreneurs John Zimmer and Logan Green. But Lyft is still losing money and its executives warned it may struggle to turn a profit, according to Friday's filing.

02 March 2019
YouTube disables comments on videos featuring kids after predators scare
Under YouTube's new policy, users will no longer be able to comment on videos that prominently feature kids younger than 13. The overhaul comes as several major brands-including Nestle , Epic Games, Disney and AT&T-suspended advertising on YouTube.

02 March 2019
U.S. trade chief sees long-term China challenges
President Donald Trump has postponed increasing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods that would have been effective March 2. At the hearing Wednesday however, Lighthizer stuck a more cautious tone about the negotiations with Beijing.

01 March 2019
Puma takes over from Nike as Manchester City kit supplier
It represents a significant hike on the current £20m deal with Nike, that ends at the end of the season. The news was announced by the City Football Group, the clubs' holding company, on Thursday.

01 March 2019
Egypt: Cairo disaster, train was travelling 80/km without driver - Egypt
And in August 2017, two passenger trains collided just outside the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people. The BBC notes that Egypt's railway system has a poor safety record. "I don't know when these train accidents will end".

01 March 2019
Ravens reportedly will release Michael Crabtree after underwhelming first season
After a combined 1,925 receiving yards in 2015 and 2016 in Oakland, Crabtree had just 1,225 over the past two seasons. The 607 yards were the fewest he had in a since since he had 284 yards in 2013 when he appeared in just five games.

01 March 2019
Microsoft CEO Nadella Defends HoloLens Military Contract After Employee Backlash
Nearly three years ago, Microsoft released its first HoloLens and now the company is ready with the second version. The HoloLens 2 also features fully articulated hand tracking, enabled by the inclusion of a time of flight sensor.

01 March 2019
Kylie Jenner 'Accuses' Travis Scott Of Cheating As He Cancels Tour Date
TMZ claims that although Travis cancelled a show last week because of an "illness", the real reason is much more complicated. I'm under the weather, and it f***ing sucks! Show rescheduled to March 10 all tix are valid.

01 March 2019
Terminally ill girl asks for letters from dogs
Emma loves dogs, even though she doesn't have one, and often dogsits along with her parents for their neighbors. Barely a month later, the GoFundMe has raised almost $80,000 and a post calling for dog photos has gone viral.

01 March 2019
Solskjaer has restored United's culture and identity, says former treble teammate Schmeichel
Spain worldwide De Gea is under contract until 2020, but United are struggling to make a breakthrough in negotiations over a new long-term deal.