Tarantula Being Eaten Alive Fights Its Way Out Of Toad’s Mouth (VIDEO/IMAGES)

An extremely brave tarantula that just wouldn’t give up has been inspiring people around the world with its incredible escape.

This story made headlines after biologist Michael Bogan shared his pictures and videos of this unusual spider while hiking in Arizona’s Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. It all began when he looked down to admire a Sonoran Desert toad – but something didn’t seem quite right. Bogan said:

“All of a sudden, I was like, What is that hanging out of its mouth?”

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Michael Bogan

Bogan noticed that there were black, sticklike appendages sticking out of the toad’s mouth – whatever was being eaten was still alive, and trying to fight its way out! Bogan realized that the animal inside was a western desert tarantula.

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Michael Bogan

Bogan started taking pictures of this phenomenon, and figured he would stick around until the unlucky arachnid gave up and died. But that didn’t happen. The spider kept struggling, and before Bogan knew it, the toad was wincing in pain and its throat stretched out in the shape of spider fangs. The tarantula was biting the toad from the inside!!!

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Michael Bogan

Jerome Rovner, an arachnologist and emeritus professor at Ohio University, commented on the pictures:

“We don’t know whether the tarantula released any venom or not, but it wouldn’t have to. The urticating hairs are all that’s needed for it to defend itself.”

 

After enduring the tarantula’s fangs and bristles, the toad opened its mouth and the tarantula came running out. The arachnid skittered away quickly, despite being covered in the frog’s slime and gastrointestinal juices. Two of the spider’s legs seem to have been injured in the struggle – but they will likely be replaced with normal legs when the spider goes through its next molt.

Right then, Bogan learned a very important lesson from this gutsy tarantula:

“It’s never the end until it’s really the end. Even when you’re halfway down the mouth of a toad, you still have a chance.”

You can watch the spider makes its escape in the video below!

Images via Michael Bogan