The Amazon rainforest is home to many terrifying creatures, not the least of which are gigantic tarantulas the size of dinner plates. A team of biologists led by the University of Michigan recently captured one of these giant spiders on video, and it highlights just how huge the critters are: it was seen dragging a possum through the rainforest in Peru.
The video was recently shared by the University of Michigan, 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.
According to Mike Grundler, a University of Michigan ecology and evolutionary biology PhD candidate, the team was walking through the forest at night when they heard a sound. Upon looking toward the noise, the team was greeted by the sight of a dinner plate tarantula carrying a baby possum.
Though it’s not unusual to see one of these large spiders in the rainforest, Grundler says they’re usually spied eating smaller prey, such as a frog or cicada. The sight of of one of these tarantulas dragging a small mammal was rare, making the video both exciting and extra-horrifying.
The video contains images of other spiders with ill-fated frogs. Talking about the scene was University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky, who said, “This is an underappreciated source of mortality among vertebrates. A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to anthropods such as big spiders and centipedes.”