Not that I think tarantula bites are actually fatal, but it doesn’t help make their case when they describe an arachnid as an insect. Not to mention that Prof. Fattig is way scarier looking than the spider.


Professor P.W. Fattig, curator of the Emory University Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, made a large tarantula from Honduras bite him the other day. The professor said he tried the experiment partly out of curiosity and partly to prove his contention that bites of such insects are not necessarily fatal.

It took about half an hour’s poking to make the supposedly vicious creature bite. Then it hung onto the professor’s thumb with a bulldog grip for about three minutes before it was pried off. Professor Fattig said the bite was two or three times as painful as a bee’s sting and his thumb felt about three times its normal size. There were no other ill effects and the swelling soon disappeared.

  1. Torgo says: June 30, 20085:44 pm

    High five!
    More dead than alive!

  2. Neil Russell says: June 30, 20087:33 pm

    He looks like he’s about to recount his favorite panel from a Garfield comic

  3. Charlie says: July 1, 20089:47 am

    I just remembered who this guy reminds me of.

  4. Rick Auricchio says: July 1, 20087:40 pm

    But he’s dead now, isn’t he? Can we be sure it wasn’t a delayed reaction and not old age?

  5. Erica says: July 2, 20088:12 am

    I would love to see the funding proposal for this 🙂

  6. Abby says: July 12, 20088:25 pm

    i thought he died because of he bite not ld age!?

  7. Karl Maria Fattig says: July 15, 201110:03 am

    He was my great-grandfather and he died of non-venomous natural causes. His collection of insects was the largest in the western hemisphere at the time he was collecting. So large that his own institution could not maintain it and it is at the University of Georgia instead of Emory University. P.W. is also in many law textbooks, cited as an early example of an effective expert witness.

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