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Huge Spider caught on camera!

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Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera

By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

Last Updated: 3:01pm BST 22/10/2008

Photographs of a giant spider eating a bird in an Australian garden have stunned wildlife experts.

The pictures show the spider with its long black legs wrapped around the body of a dead bird suspended in its web.

Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera

The startling images were reportedly taken in Atheron, close to Queensland's tropical north.

Despite their unlikely subject matter, the pictures appear to be real.

Joel Shakespeare, head spider keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, said the spider was a Golden Orb Weaver.

"Normally they prey on large insects… it's unusual to see one eating a bird," he told ninemsn.com.

Mr Shakepeare said he had seen Golden Orb Weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger.

Queensland Museum identified the bird as a native finch called the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin.

Mr Shakespeare told ninemsn the bird must have flown into the spider web and become stuck.

"It wouldn't eat the whole bird," he said.

Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera

"It uses its venom to break down the bird for eating and what it leaves is a food parcel," he said.

Greg Czechura from Queensland Museum said cases of the Golden Orb Weaver eating small birds were "well known but rare".

"It builds a very strong web," he said.

But he said the spider would not have attacked until the bird weakened.

The Golden Orb Weaver spins a strong web high in protein because it depends on it to capture large insects for food.




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And I thought the little spider living in the screen of our card machine was awesome... this is even better! That is so cool! I'd loved to have seen it... although I think a spider that big would have made me keep my distance and have a shot gun at the ready just incase it came towards me lol.

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omg.omg.omg :o


Thats not right. i live in Australia! *checks for large spiders*

ok, can't see any yet, and im not sure how you'd miss it :unsure:

that's gonna give me nightmares!

"It wouldn't eat the whole bird," he said.

:rolleyes: yeah, that makes me feel heaps better,

"it didn't eat your whole arm..."

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The bird must have already been dead. Spider web is stronger than steel - pound for pound - but I do think a healthy bird would be able to break out of a few thin strands of it. Maybe it fell out of a tree and got caught in the web. Maybe the spider found it on the ground and hauled it up - it would have to be keen to do that.

Mostly I'm just glad that finches are native. I didn't know that. My cat brought one in last year and I was convinced she had grabbed a neighbour's pet out of a cage...

I was expecting an actual bird-eating spider. I've accepted that massive tarantulas exist, and try to tell myself that they're furry and not poisonous to humans, so just think of them as mice with too many legs... but to see a non-furry, poisonous-looking spider that size... >__<

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