This is a thing nightmares are made of.
A tarantula the size of a dinner plate dragging around a young mouse opossum.
A morbid film and images of the encounter were captured by a team of University of Michigan researchers, who documented 15 rare and disturbing predator-prey interactions in the Amazon rainforest.
They show the giant sized spider dragging the softball sized opossum across the forest.
A journal article that highlights the scary observation was published in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation.
In addition to the opossum, the article details instances of arthropod predators — mostly large spiders along with a few centipedes and a giant water bug — preying on vertebrates such as frogs and tadpoles, lizards and snakes, a statement from the university said.
U-M doctoral candidate Michael Grundler and two other students were on a night survey in November 2016 when they “heard some scrabbling in the leaf litter,” the statement said.
“We looked over and we saw a large tarantula on top of an opossum,” said Grundler, a co-author of the article. “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.”
Grundler’s sister Maggie pulled out her cell phone and shot photos and some video, the statement said. An opossum expert at the American Museum of Natural History later confirmed they had captured the first documentation of a large mygalomorph spider preying on an opossum.
“We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn’t really believe what we were seeing,” Michael Grundler said in the statement. “We knew we were witnessing something pretty special, but we weren’t aware that it was the first observation until after the fact.”
Hopefully, you’ll still be able to eat and sleep tonight.