Massive spider drags opossum through jungle in horrifying video
A giant tarantula has been filmed dragging an opossum through the jungle.
The startling footage was captured by scientists in the Amazon and was revealed to the world in a published journal article in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation.
It details various attacks on small mammals by arthropods in the Peruvian jungle.
To see this brutal display of nature, check out the video below (warning: some people might find the footage upsetting):
This incident was witnessed by scientists from the University of Michigan, who take regular trips to Peru to record interactions between predators and prey, typically at night, which is when most ambush predators operate.
"Scrabbling in the leaf litter" is what alerted researcher Michael Grundler to this opossum's plight.
Grundler, a co-author of the paper, said in a statement:
"We looked over and we saw a large tarantula on top of an opossum. The opossum had already been grasped by the tarantula and was still struggling weakly at that point, but after about 30 seconds it stopped kicking."
The footage was recorded by Grundler's sister, Maggie, who shot it on a cellphone.
A statement by the university revealed that the tarantula was the size of a dinner plate and the opossum the size of a softball.
Evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky said:
"This is an under-appreciated source of mortality among vertebrates. A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to arthropods such as big spiders and centipedes."