Found in stars’ constellations or nature, scorpions are known for their resistance, endurance, adaptability, predatory features, and extremely dangerous venom. Scorpions are a fascinating group of animals. Unfortunately, most people see them only as a “deadly killer of innocent humans”. But scorpions are so much more! We can consider them as living fossils because over the years they’ve diversified to so many habitats, and there’s only a tiny change in their morphology. They’ve stayed true to their basic body structure which is the same now as it was 400 million years ago.
To stay true to oneself is quite a feature, so the least we can do is honor with these interesting facts about scorpions. We can do as much, can we?
Closely related to spiders, mites, and ticks scorpions are members of the Arachida class.
Known as desert dwellers, scorpions also live in Brazilian forests, British Columbia, North Carolina, and even the Himalayas.
Antarctica is the only continent where scorpion can’t be found.
Scorpions have been around for hundreds of millions of years, real survivors!
There are only 30 or 40 scorpions with a strong enough poison to kill a person from almost 2,000 scorpion species.
Many types of venom are effectively designed for their users’ lifestyles. A scorpion known to inject about 100 different toxins into its victims is the yellow Israeli scorpion.
It takes the scorpion a lot of energy to produce the venom, so they use it with moderation.
The venom consists of a group of complex molecules called neurotoxin. The neurotoxin, when injected attacks the nerve cells of the victim causing paralysis and death.
After stinging, the scorpion decides whether to release its venom or not.
They’ve got deadly venom, but that’s not all! Their venom has properties that can be used in medicine to treat heart diseases and even some types of cancer.
How to treat scorpion’s sting? The experienced Bedouins treat it by coughing up phlegm and rubbing it on the wound.
There’s a type of scorpion, like the bark scorpion that sends what feels like an electric shock to its victims.
Scorpions’ diet can be extremely variable, but naturally, they eat insects.
Scorpions have an amazing ability to slow their metabolism to as little as one-third which is a typical rate for arthropods, especially when food is scarce.
Even with dropped metabolism, the scorpion can spring quickly to the hunt when an opportunity presents itself.
Scorpion with babies
When no other food is available mothers can attack and eat their young.
Scorpions soften the tissues of their prey with digestive juices and remove the nutrients in semi-liquid form. They don’t chew their food.
Mice are part of large scorpions’ diet, but the grasshopper mouse doesn’t fear the Arizona bark scorpion as it is resistant to its venom.
They can eat a large amount of food in one meal. If necessary they can survive 6-12 months without eating again due to their large food storage organs and low metabolism rate.
These specific survival skills allow scorpions to live in some of the planet’s toughest environments.
Some scientists have even frozen scorpions overnight, only to place them in the sun the next day and watch them defrost and walk away.
The one thing scorpions have a hard time living without is soil.
Being a burrowing animal, scorpions may not be able to survive in areas of permafrost or heavy grasses, where loose soil is not available.
Another scorpions’ phenomenon is the fact that they’re fluorescent under ultraviolet light and researchers aren’t quite sure why. Maybe their main component Beta-carboline is what enables their fluorescence.
Scorpions’ have exaggerated pair of claws, a long thin tail that is often curved over the back of the scorpion, and the stinger at the end of the tail that is used to inject venom.
Scorpions, like all arachnids, share a well-known body characteristic, 8 legs.
The size of the scorpion species ranges from 0.09 cm to 20 cm.
Next to its shed skin
Scorpions’ exoskeleton is made of chitin, a tough, protective, adaptable molecule made of polysaccharide and nitrogen.
The exoskeleton acts like ours and gives support to scorpions and serves as a muscle attachment site. It also helps scorpions by functioning in respiration and by delivering exceptional endurance to water loss, which is critical to their survival in the dry environments they often inhabit.
As they grow to full-size scorpions shed their exoskeleton up to 7 times.
Without their exoskeleton scorpions become vulnerable to predators.
Scorpions’ body is divided into three segments: the cephalothorax (head), mesosoma (abdomen), and metasoma (tail).
The eyes, mouth, and the characteristic pair of claws called pedipalps, which have pinchers on the end are part of the cephalothorax.
Seven segments are included in the cephalothorax. These segments contain the reproductive, respiratory, and other organs.
The scorpion’s tail is comprised of five extra segments and terminates in the telson. The telson contains a pair of venom glands and a stinger that allows the scorpion to sting prey or predators or humans.
They are extremely effective predators because they possess an exclusive combination of characteristics that enable them to detect prey, move quickly and agilely over any kind of terrain, catch and hold prey while injecting venom into the prey to immobilize or kill it before eating it.
Being a nightly species they often hide under rocks and in holes during the day before emerging at night to feed.
How about a scorpion on the menu? In some parts of China, there’s a dish of a fried scorpion, and scorpion wine is used in Chinese medicine.
With the Scorpio constellation identified in the stars, the scorpion is one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about scorpions that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!