Gigantic Spider Gobbles Bird in Front of Camera

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Bird_ Eating_Spider_from_AustraliaPhoto:
Image: ozgipsy

This is a series of photos to make even the most ardent of arachnophiles or the most bullish of bird bashers squirm in their seats, wincing at the image of that poor little tweety pie getting eaten by that beastly looking spider. The spider stealing the limelight – as well as its avian victim’s vital fluids – is the none too unpleasantly named golden silk orb weaver, while its unfortunate meal was a type of finch.

Bird_ Eating_Spider_from_AustraliaPhoto:
Image: ozgipsy

Snapped in the backyard of a resident of Queensland, Australia in October 2008, the disturbing sequence shows the bird, identified as a chestnut-breeded mannikin, caught in the web of its arachnid nemesis. As the mannikin’s struggling subsides, the spider decides it’s feeding time and goes in for the kill. Golden orb weavers are known for their strong, finely meshed webs, but this one must have been like steel to keep the bird from taking wing.

Bird_ Eating_Spider_from_AustraliaPhoto:
Image: ozgipsy

With the finch now visibly more entangled in the spider’s silk strands, it’s game over. It’s actually unusual, though not unheard of, for golden orb weavers to prey on birds; they’re more likely to be found feeding on flying insects including bees, wasps, moths and butterflies. They can, however, grow to what to some might seem an alarming size: at least as big as a human hand. Big enough for this mannikin, even if the spider didn’t finish its dinner, unable as it was to eat the entire bird.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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