Sunday, March 22, 2009


Wondering down the produce aisle, the unknowing shopper pulls a bundle of bananas from the display and a multi-legged creature begins to inch its way to the shopper. The beginning to a particularly bad sci-fi movie?
No, it was the situation recently in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From bad to worse the story soon escalated. Not only arachnid invasion of food storage sanctity - but the creature was identified as one of the world's most deadly creatures!
It is hard to determine which is the most frightening. A spider crawling over fruit in the market or the thought the creature might be deadly. Not many would want to trade places with the shoppers in Tulsa, but was it not so deadly after all?
"The spider found in a shipment of bananas at Whole Foods was taken Sunday to the University of Tulsa, where animal facilities manager Terry Childs identified it as a Brazilian wandering spider, considered one of the most lethal in the world." Soon another expert, however, was disputing that and Tulsa Zoo curator of aquariums and herpetology, Barry Downer's examination of photos and video led him to say it was more likely a harmless Huntsman spider, "There's pretty definitive evidence it has been misidentified," Downer said.
Authorities are also looking into claims an administer of the university ordered the creature destroyed because of concerns related to the more deadly identification. This, however, has some baffled. Specimens - even of deadly creatures - are usually preserved for study, Downer noted. Authorities also question the labeling of the danger of the Brazilian spider and cite it is dangerous but not as deadly as described.

Without the specimen to provide clear evidence, however, it is still all conjecture for many. An earlier incident occured in Stillwater in 2003 and who knows what the future may bring?

Information from: Tulsa World,

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