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Posted on a Facebook group called Tasmanian insects and spiders, the photos of the hairy huntsman spider is making headlines around the world.
These viral photos are not for the faint-hearted. It shows a giant spider trying to eat a very small possum:
It makes one wonder if the many-legged beast could make it away with a human baby – let's hope not!
That doesn’t mean that you won’t find one in your flat or in the car.
The Australian Museum states:
“Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.”
But despite being everywhere, they are not deadly to humans, and if you do get bitten then the Australian Museum says you’ll be okay with just an icepack on the affected area.
What's in its mouth?
What the spider is enjoying is a little pygmy possum – an animal that doesn't usually doesn’t reach more than 6.5cm.
The photo doesn't show the spider actually consuming the possum whole, but we can assume it did, as the 8-legged creature is known to eat small birds and all.
Tasmania is generally known for its odd creatures. Take, for one example, spitfire grubs: they're giant spiky larvae that stay together in large hoards before transforming into fly-like wasps – yuck.
Or perhaps you’ve heard of the Tasmanian Devil?
The infamous carnivore of the island known for its grisly looks, manic rage, and demonic sounds. The National Geographic does a pretty good job summing up the creatures aggressive behavior:
"Devils are solitary and nocturnal, spending their days alone in hollow logs, caves, or burrows, and emerging at night to feed. They use their long whiskers and excellent sense of smell and sight to avoid predators and locate prey and carrion. They'll eat pretty much anything they can get their teeth on, and when they do find food, they are voracious, consuming everything—including hair, organs, and bones."
So if you ever venture down South, you can relax around the spiders, but keep your hands to yourself around the devils. They are known to defend themselves when threatened and their mighty bite could break a bone or two.
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The devil is only the size of a small dog but as an evolved predator, it can do quite a bit more damage than your typical doggy friend. Yet, once again, too bad for the little pygmy possum, which appears to be an ideal lunch for these creatures.
With such an array of creatures lurking about, the island of inspiration may just have to make it onto your list as next year's vacation destination.