(ConservativeHub.com) – Funnel-web spiders are a relatively common member of the arachnid family. Roughly 1,200 different species exist globally, with several in Australia and about 100 North American variants. However, an unusually massive spider recently turned up at an Australian zoo.
The Australian Reptile Park, located on New South Wales’ central coast, accepted the donation of the spider for use in its life-saving antivenom program on November 11.
Aptly named ‘Megaspider’ by the staff, it is roughly double the size of average funnel spiders. It measures a whopping 8 cm (approximately 3.15 inches) from leg to leg. Putting this in perspective, typical funnel-web spiders measure between 1 to 5 cm (0.4 to 2 inches). That makes it comparable in size to tarantulas.
WARNING: Spider footage ahead:
Its 2 cm (0.79 inches) fangs are strong enough to penetrate a human fingernail, making it a potentially dangerous foe for humans. The Australian Reptile Park conducts the only spider milking facility in Australia, and workers look forward to producing antivenom from its latest resident. According to park officials, its antivenom program saves hundreds of lives each year.
Park workers say they have no idea who captured the spider or where they might have discovered it. Michael Tate, an educator working at the park, said he hadn’t encountered a funnel-web spider that large in his 30+ years working there.
Tate said park officials hope to learn where the spider came from based on the hope to acquire other specimens for their antivenom program.
Copyright 2021, ConservativeHub.com