Most individuals see scorpions as creepy and dangerous living animals, primarily due to their powerful front pincers and curved stingers. These, not surprisingly, are the features that scorpions use to survive.
Scorpions belong to a group known as arachnids and are close relatives of spiders, mites and ticks. They have existed on this planet for about 400 million years and reside in some of the harshest regions like hot deserts, mountains and rainforests. There are over 1200 species of scorpions that can be found all over the planet except Greenland, Antarctica and a few small islands.
Scorpions have eight legs, two pedipalps and a tail featuring a venom-injecting barb. They do not have bones, but rather an exoskeleton that’s made of chitin. In this post, we are going to take a look at several facts about scorpions that will help you learn more about these feared creatures.
1. Scorpions are Tough
These small arachnids can survive a whole year without food. But how is this possible? Well, as mentioned above, they have chitin layers on their exoskeleton that prevent water loss. They can ideally slow down their metabolism when food is rare. In addition, scorpions can live underwater for two days. Most of them live for 2 to 10 years, but some survive up to 25 years.
2. Scorpions are Fierce Hunters
These creatures are ruthless. They will attack insects and even their kind, including family members. They are pretty patient as they sit still on a single spot for hours, waiting for a victim to come close. They will snatch a victim and hammer down their tail with the paralyzing bows. Once the victim becomes motionless, they will tear it up with the pincers. The creatures ideally have strong juices in their mouths, which they spit to help melt the prey for easier consumption.
3. Scorpions Have the Same Look But Differ in Size
Scorpions’ existence dates back 400 million years ago, but then it was pretty big- up to a meter long and lived in the sea. After a few million years, the scorpion migrated to the land and shrunk. According to archaeologists, the scorpion today is similar to the scorpion back then, but it has become much smaller. These creatures today range between 0.6 to 7 inches long.
4. Deathstalker is The Most Popular
This type of scorpion is the most widely known. It is mostly found in the Middle East and North Africa. Its poison creates a mixture of strong neurotoxins that cause intense pain, followed by paralysis and finally death. Luckily, even though the sting is quite painful, it’s not enough to cause death to an adult human being. However, the elderly, children and heart patients are usually at more risk.
5. The Arizona Scorpion is The Most Dangerous
Even though the Arizona scorpion is not the most venomous, it’s the most dangerous as it injects huge quantities of poison. It’s a small light yellow scorpion that resides in the Arizona region. This creature can kill an adult human in just one hour.
6. Scorpions Glow When You Shine UV Light on Them
Perhaps you have seen photos of scorpions glowing or you have hunted them yourself using a backlight. Well, these creatures contain proteins in their shell that give off a blue-green fluorescent color when exposed to ultraviolet light.
7. The Blue Scorpion
This one is named after a blue tail and can be found on Cuba. However, unlike other scorpions, the ingredients of its poison have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and analgesic effects which alleviate pain, reduce tumor tissue and extend the life of cancer patients. This is according to research conducted by Mexican scientists.