National Geographic says the following about the Australian funnel-web spider:

The fangs of a funnel-web spider are very strong—they can pierce through shoe leather and fingernails.

I'm not skeptical about the shoe leather since leather is not a hard material. But fingernails are hard so I am skeptical of that part of the claim.

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    Do you really think fingernails are tougher than leather? My impression is the opposite. Fingernails are not as pliable, but they are thin, brittle, and permeable. I look forward to more authoritative answers to your question than my own speculation. Apr 13, 2020 at 20:15
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    @PoloHoleSet: also, (human) fingernails have a relatively narrow thickness range, although in some cases, e.g. toe injury, you can get pretty thick (and semi-detached) ones... "Shoe leather" can have various thicknesses as well, esp. on less fancy boots, belts etc.
    – Fizz
    Apr 14, 2020 at 3:47
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    Near miss: This author collected spiderbite cases and reported a different (larger) Australian spider species had bitten through a fingernail.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 14, 2020 at 4:45


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