Scorpions are predatory arthropods that belong to the class Arachnida, the arachnids and are familiar to other arachnids like spiders, harvestmen, ticks and mites. The body of a scorpion is divided into three parts, the prosoma or cephalothorax (head), the mesoma (abdomen) and the metasoma (tail). The curvy upward pointed tail is actually five segments of the abdomen ending at the telson, the part where venom is produced. There are almost 2,000 species of scorpions but only 25 species have strong poison to kill humans.
Scorpions are called the champions of survival and can adjust in the severe conditions of the environment. But the most fascinating fact about scorpions is that they have a unique ability to slow their metabolism which allows them to survive up to 12 months without eating.
Diet and Survival Skills of Scorpions
Scorpions typically eat insects, spiders and other arthropods but some feed on grubs and earthworms too. These are nocturnal hunters and some larger scorpions are known to feed on small rodents as well as lizards. Their diet can vary depending on their harsh living conditions. Scorpions are capable of consuming large quantities of food compared to their body size. The mechanism of their body handles the nutrition within the body very carefully and reduces the speed of metabolism to as little as one-third of most arthropods. The way the metabolism functions allows the scorpions to spend almost a year without eating anything. This is feature is not very common in other animal species. Even when a slow metabolic rate is common in those animals that hibernate, these same animals are incapable of quickly restoring it back. That’s why with lowered metabolism also scorpions are able to hunt down their prey. While most of them eat whatever seems eatable to them but some specialize in particular prey like beetles or burrowing spiders. Sometimes a mother scorpion can eat her own babies if resources are scarce.
They are robust and adaptable arthropods that have lived for hundreds of millions of years. Their survival skills make it possible for them to survive in the harsh conditions of the environment. Once scientists have frozen scorpions for 24 hours but soon when they were brought under the sun they thawed and walked out again.
Where are Scorpions found?
Scorpions are found all across the world expect Antarctica and New Zealand. They are commonly thought of as desert dwellers but they live in Brazilian forests, British Columbia, North Carolina, and even in the Himalayas.
Scorpions are not natural dwellers of Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, etc but today they are found in some of these places after being brought for the purposes of trade and commerce.
Are all Scorpions Venomous?
All scorpions are poisonous but only 25 species are known to have enough poisonous to kill a person. They use their venom to paralyze and kill their pray and in self-defense. Even baby scorpions can attack with the same amount of venom as adults. A scorpion can control the intensity of venom produced depending on the conditions of killing a prey or defending itself from predators. The Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus in the U.S produces venom strong enough to kill a small child.