The bite of a Sydney funnel-web spider unleashes deadly venom, but a 94-year-old Australian woman defied the odds this week. Mavis Tanner, a great-grandmother, stepped into her shoe when she felt something strange. She then reached her hand into the shoe, and the spider bit her on the toe and finger.
Tanner received anti-venom medication, and the spider was sent for testing. It turns out the biting spider was a male. The venom of a male funnel-web is more dangerous than a female’s. Bites from a funnel-web are very painful, mostly because of the acidic nature of the venom. Victims who are not treated begin twitching, first in the tongue and then throughout the entire body as the venom attacks the nervous system.
Mavis Tanner is now the oldest known person to survive the bite of a Sydney funnel-web spider.