Killer Spiders Invade Sydney

Warm weather blamed for influx of funnel-webs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 1:44 AM CST
A female funnel-web spider in warning posture.   (Wikipedia)
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(Newser) – A heavy infestation of funnel-web spiders is giving Sydney residents the jitters. Experts say the spider—one of the deadliest and most aggressive in existence—is arriving in unusually large numbers because of warm and wet weather. The spider's bite can be fatal within two hours, although no Australians have died from funnel-web bites since an antidote was developed in 1980.

"They are starting to come in thick and fast," a reptile park manager tells the Independent. The park, where spiders are milked of their venom to produce the antidote, had just two spiders before Christmas but has received more than 40 over the last few weeks.

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