In footage sure to give arachnophobes nightmares, the opossum is shown to still be alive as the tarantula pulls it away.
A team of scientists from the University of MI documented more than a dozen "rare and disturbing predator-prey interactions", including video of the massive spider that preyed upon the small vertebrate.
"A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to arthropods such as big spiders and centipedes", said University of MI evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky.
The article titled "Ecological interactions between arthropods and small vertebrates in a lowland Amazon rainforest" documents 15 cases of arthropods - mainly large spiders and centipedes - preying on vertebrates like small frogs, snakes and lizards.
According to Mike Grundler, a University of MI ecology and evolutionary biology PhD candidate, the team was walking through the forest at night when they heard a sound.
"We were pretty ecstatic and shocked, and we couldn't really believe what we were seeing", Michael Grundler, a Ph.D. student at U of M and contributing author, said in a statement.
An enormous tarantula - about as big as a dinner plate - rustled across the leaves on the ground, dragging away its victim - a small opossum, first kicking and then going limp in the spider's jaws. Grundler's sister Maggie captured the video on camera.
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The encounter is likely the first documentation of a large Mygalomorph spider preying on an opossum.
From 2008 to 2017, the researchers observed spiders preying various species that, in some habitats, could easily be feeding on them - various frogs, a lizard and, of course, a mouse opossum.
Among their finds is a one-of-a-kind event when they chanced upon a large tarantula preying on a young mouse opossum.
The video contains images of other spiders with ill-fated frogs.
A team of researchers traveled to the Madre De Dios region of the Amazon rainforest in southeastern Peru to survey predator-prey relationships in the Amazon rainforest.
"We knew we were witnessing something pretty special, but we weren't aware it was the first observation until after the fact".
"During their night surveys, team members walk slowly through the forest with flashlights and headlamps, in single file, scanning the forest and listening intently", the release said.
While spiders are among the most diverse predators in the tropics, knowledge of such interactions has been limited.