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May 06, 2009

Kingdom of the Spiders: Australian Town Overrun With Suddenly-Emboldened Tarantulas

Scientists don't know why the big poisonous spiders have come out of hiding to scuttle across streets and into homes.

I have an idea: Global warming. They're trying to get us to adopt a cap-and-trade regime.

Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.

Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as “bird-eating spiders” and can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.

Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the centre of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyse the spider.

Audy Geiszler, who runs Amalgamated Pest Control in Bowen, said that the spider was a large male with powerful long fangs and was so big that when he placed it – dead – in the palm of his hand its legs hung over his fingers.

Mr Geiszler said that he had been inundated with calls from worried locals reporting sightings of the giant tarantulas, which have been pushed out of their natural habitat over the past month by heavy, unseasonal rain.

"There have been a number of reports. It's not plague proportions but a number have been spotted around the district,” Mr Geiszler told The Times today shortly after receiving a call from a resident who had spotted another spider on the outskirts of town.

Ah. "Heavy, unseasonable rain." I was right. Global warming.

Bonus: These types are sometimes called "whistling spiders" because they whistle (or just hiss) when disturbed or readying themselves to attack. Which is kinda creepy, you know?

Thanks to Arthur K.



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posted by Ace at 05:32 PM

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