Are you prepared to encounter a super-cool creature with an intense sting? Check out what a scorpion looks like and its intriguing stats!
Quick Scorpion Facts
- Scientific name: Scorpiones
- Name of the family: Scorpionoidea
- Classification: Invertebrate
- State of IUCN: Not evaluated
- Lifespan: 5 years (in the wild)
- Weight: 10g-100g
- Height of the body: 6cm
- Nutrition: Carnivore
- Habitat: Most typical in dry grasslands and deserts
Scorpions are arachnids and, like their relatives – spiders, mites, and ticks have eight legs. They look slightly like tiny lobsters, fitted with a pair of pincers and a small, segmented tail curving over their back. A majority of scorpions can be found worldwide on every continent, except for Antarctica, but they are most prevalent in deserts and hot, dryland areas.
Ferocious predators, scorpions have an incredible way to capture their grub. A scorpion can easily catch its prey with its pincers when hungry and then whip its telson, the deadly tip of its stinger, forward to sting and eliminating the unfortunate target. These amazing arachnids usually consume insects (although some also eat lizards, spiders, and tiny rodents). Each species has a specific form of venom that works quite well against prey selected.
Scorpions not only use their stings to disable their prey, but they also use them to protect themselves from predators of scorpions, like snakes, lizards, and birds. While most scorpions’ toxin is only potent enough to kill tiny insects, there are about 30-40 species of scorpions with a strong enough sting to kill a person. Fortunately, humans aren’t on the scorpion’s food options, and only if they feel frightened can these bizarre creatures strike. In the United States, there have been few recorded deaths from scorpion stings due to severe symptoms. There is only a single species of deadly scorpion class in the United States, the bark scorpion.
These remarkable animals, equipped with extreme survival skills, live in some of the harshest environments on our planet. Scorpions can delay their metabolism when resources are scarce so much that they can survive off only one insect annually! And they can endure unbelievably harsh climates, whether hot and cold. Believe it or not, researchers have frozen scorpions the whole night, only to place them the next day in the sun and observe them thaw out and walk away. Scorpions deal with the sun’s blistering heat in the hot deserts, where many life exists, by burrowing underneath the sand or soil.
Scorpions have been around long before the dinosaur period, and scientists believe that hundreds of millions of years ago, they might also have been the first creatures to migrate from water to land. Prehistoric scorpion fossils discovered in Scotland prove that their presence has not altered over the centuries. However, with today’s scorpions measuring half the length of their ancient ancestors, they have shifted in size.