You never want to get in between a tarantula and a snake. Just walk away.
In this corner, weighing in at roughly 3 ounces, 9 inches in length and sporting some world-class, 2-centimeter fangs, we have Tarantula, the world’s largest spider.
Photo by: Someone Crazy
In this corner, coming in at 15 inches and undefeated in all previous bouts with spiders, we have the Almaden ground snake.
Sadly, we don’t have live footage of the event but we can now confirm that, for the first time ever recorded, Tarantula took down Snake in what looks to have been a first-round knockout (and devouring – you get to eat your prey in all officially sanctioned Animal Kingdom bouts.)
A grad student in Brazil, Leandro Malta Borges, documented the fight and its aftermath. He then published what scientists are calling the first known account of a wild tarantula killing and eating a snake.
What makes it all the more impressive to researchers is that this particular species of tarantula doesn’t produce venom. That means it would have had to neutralize the snake by mashing at its flesh with its fangs to essentially gut it, exposing its entrails, then liquefying everything for easy digestion.
We’re just interested in the bout, of course, but people like Borges and his colleagues are obsessing over the fact that there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that this particular species of tarantula, known as G. quirogai, wields venom strong enough to sedate the snake.
That means it had to do all the work with its formidable fangs.
“Predation of such a large snake in relation to the size of the spider was extremely surprising to us,” Borges told Live Science.
Given the tarantula’s record in the wild, it seems surprising that it hasn’t taken down a snake before. They have been well documented taking out birds, frogs, lizards, and mice, according to Science Alert.
Other spiders have taken down snakes, but it’s because they’ve used a web, venom, or both. There are recorded instances of tarantulas killing snakes, but they were egged on by scientists (a rigged fight) in controlled experiments, Borges’ report notes.
“Most likely, the snake was surprised upon entering the spider’s environment and hence subdued by it,” the report concludes.
“There are other records of spiders preying on snakes, such as the famous black widow, which has a strong toxin and, besides, rely on the web for capturing,” says Borges.
Our own Brett Cannon, an award-winning angler and hunter, had his own recent encounter with a Florida Huntsman spider. You can read his full account here.
This is why you wear a safety harness. This bad boy decided to jump on my face while I was climbing outta the tree this morning. He then crawled around my headed down my back then jumped off my boot. The spider was so big I thought a squirrel landed on me. It literally scared the piss out of me, I could of easily fell out if I wasn't still in my harness. Guys and girls please be smart and wear a safety harness!