This video is rather unsuitable for arachnophobics: the noble orb spider only weighs about a tenth as much as a shrew. A team of researchers from Great Britain led by Dawn Sturgess has nevertheless filmed for the first time how a spider of this species successfully hunted down a small mouse.
The video recordings are disturbing due to the difference in size between the two animals, but according to the researchers this is no coincidence or exception: in the last five years there have been three reports of a noble orb spider hunting a Vertebrate made.
The noble orb spider relies on two main factors when hunting: its enormously strong spider web and its neurotoxin, with which it can stun its prey. Zoologist Michel Dugon of the University of Galway states: "This observation shows that the noble orb spider is perfectly adapted to take down large prey. It combines a powerful venom, an extremely strong silk and a complex hunting behavior."
After the researchers had filmed the spider at work for around 20 minutes, the animal pulled the prey into an area that was not fully visible. According to the researchers, she fed on the shrew there for three days and then removed the remains from her web: the remains of the mouse were "nothing more than fur, bones and skin".
Originally, the noble orb spider was only found on the Canary Islands and Madeira, from where it migrated to Europe. People don't have to worry too much, though. The bite is painful and can also lead to bacterial infections. However, he is not deadly.