World’s Deadliest Spider Can Actually Save Its Own Victims

Posted: Mar 4 2018, 1:46pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

World’s Deadliest Spider can Actually Save its Own Victims
Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Funnel web spider is milked as part of program to develop anti-venom

The Australian Reptile Park has just welcomed a new recruit. It is a funnel web spider and is believed to be extremely dangerous.

Named Colossus, the 7.8cm wide male spider was found on the Central Coast in New South Wales. Funnel web spider is known for its deadly venom. Its venom instantly attacks nervous system causing sudden muscle contraction and foaming at the mouth. In worst case scenario, it can even kill a human.

Although the venom of funnel web spider is lethal, it holds the key to save the lives of its own victims. In fact, the latest spider was brought to the wildlife sanctuary for achieving the exact purpose. Colossus is a part of Australian Reptile Park’s milking program which involves the extraction of spider venom and the production of antidote.

Even though funnel-web spiders do bite 30 to 40 people every year, no deaths have been reported for decades mainly because of the availability of anti-venom. The average funnel-web needs to be milked around 70 times to produce a single dose. The venom neutralizes once the dose is injected into bitten humans.

“Males like Colossus are milked weekly for their raw venom that is sent off to Seqirus in Melbourne to be made into life-saving anti-venom.” Yahoo7 reported.

The park's highly trained staff completed 3,500 milkings last year but they need up to 5,000 milkings to ensure sufficient anti-venom supply.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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