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These guys will hunt and eat prey WAY larger than themselves
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Eagle versus deer
This one's about a predator that, in theory, you know is willing and capable of attacking prey larger than itself, but for some reason, it doesn't sink in until you actually see it happen.

That's the feeling we got, at least, when the Zoological Society of London released pictures of a golden eagle attacking a sika deer.

(Zoological Society of London)

(Zoological Society of London)

Researchers didn't witness it in person, but a remote camera set up in Russia's far eastern region snapped a handful of frames of the contest, as the deer struggled to escape the swooping eagle.

When we picture these birds on the hunt, it's easy to imagine them scooping up a squirrel or rabbit, or even other birds, and carrying them off to be devoured.

But it's another, unnerving, thing entirely to see it right on the heels of the clearly much larger deer in the pic above.

Although the deer's final fate only happens out of frame, there's sadly no doubt as to how that battle ended. 

The researcher who broke the story described finding the carcass during a routine equipment check, with no predator tracks in sight, and didn't figure out what happened until she got the photos back to the lab.

Goliath spider versus bird

Forgive us the pun, but we'd love to have been a fly on the wall the day a Victorian explorer stumbling through the South American jungle happened upon a giant spider chowing down on a hummingbird.

They say you are what you eat, and ever since then, the goliath bird-eating spider has its entire reputation based just on that one first witnessed meal way back in the 1800s. 

Well, known for that, AND its enormous size - around 30 cm in some specimens, believed to be among the largest, if not THE largest species of spider in the world.

Despite its name, most sources are quick to point out that goliaths don't usually eat birds (although this source says they've been known to raid nests for bird hatchlings). We can't find any first-hand accounts of anyone actually witnessing one actually attacking the bird, so in fact, even though it's been seen eating birds, it may just have scavenged already-deceased ones.

Still, it's got an impressive diet all the same.

Although it mostly eats insects and other invertebrates, it still preys on rats and mice, lizards, bats and other animals most people have trouble picturing as a meal for these animals.

As for us, well, despite the horrible prospect of stumbling on a foot-long spider in the wild, its bite, while thoroughly unpleasant, isn't very venomous. It has been known to flick spines from its hind legs into people's eyes when threatened, however, which can be highly irritating.

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