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Transcript of Heidi Suehs
The Banana Spider
These spiders sometimes hide among bananas, thus giving them their common nickname, the banana spider. But this spider has more to it than that. It is known for being aggressive, fast and highly venomous. Their scientific name, Phoneutria, means murderess in Greek. These spiders are often argued the most toxic spider on Earth. Reactions to this spider have been extreme. Homes were repeatedly evacuated. Schools closed. Grocery stores took all their food off the shelves and threw it away. Luckily, they mainly eat crickets, mice and small lizards. But unfortunately, it is said that these spiders bite more people than any other spider. Victims of this spider bite are usually killed in an hour. So, what really makes this spider so deadly?
The brazilian wandering spider uses neurotoxins to kill, in particular, phoneutria nigriventer toxin-3, or the more commonly used Phtx3. But first, what is a neurotoxin? They are the chemical agents that affect chemical signals between neurons. The chemicals are not transmitting messages properly, so that the transmitters will not be ready for their release into the synapse. (The chemical messengers aren't working properly so the muscles can't be told what to do.) It also blocks reuptake which causes the transmitter to remain in the synapse longer. (The brain can send messages to the muscle, but the muscle can't do anything. Basically, it's like paralytics.)
The initial symptoms after the bite are severe burning pain at the sit of the bite, sweating and goosebumps. After about thirty minutes or so, the symptoms are systematic and include fast or slow heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, abdominal cramping, nausea, hypothermia (Not enough heat. Extremely cold body temperature.), vertigo (Dizziness), convulsions, excessive sweating and blurred vision. After a lethal dose of venom is administrated, the diaphragm is paralyzed, which is death by asphyxiation. (Not enough oxygen) Higher doses will also cause paralysis of the heart.
Where it lives
This arachnid wanders the jungle floor at night, hence the name, Brazilian wandering spider. But, during the day, it investigates any cool and sheltered area, unfortunately including: cars, clothing, shoes, and closets. This spider is native to South America in Brazil, but is sometimes shipped over to other countries such as the United States in a bunch of bananas. But fortunately, there's an anti venom to this spider's bite.
By Heidi Suehs
How does the brazilian Wandering spider kill its prey?
Thank Y u!