Scorpions are predatory mammals of the order scorpions. They belong to the Arthropoda phylum and Arachnida class. The evolutionary history goes back to 435 million years ago. The vast majority of species generally do not pose any serious threat to humans, and healthy adults need not undergo any medical treatment after a stink by scorpions. These species have appeared in art, folklore, mythology, and even commercial brands. They use pincers to kill their prey or to prevent their predators.
Description of scorpions
The scorpions have eight legs in total. They are divided into pairs of grasping pincers and a narrow segmented tail. They have a forward curve over the back, which always ends with a stinger. They have an average size of about 6 cm with a cylinder body and longer tails. The Black Emperor Scorpions are considered amazing giant scorpions. They are also very dangerous looking and can be deadly when in contact with humans or dogs.
Habitat of scorpions
Scorpions are observed in many habitats, and they are mostly seen in deserts and semi-arid regions. Many scorpions try to hide under logs, rocks, boards, and clutter. A typical species called Barks scorpions resides on vertical surfaces such as trees, bushes, and walls. Many scorpions in the United States are found in the southwest, preferable in dry and warm locations like Arizona, California, and New Mexico.
Diet of scorpions
Scorpions are opportunistic predators who eat small animals that they can capture. Their common prey are spiders and other Arachnids, and less common prey are pill bugs, snails, and small vertebrates like lizards, snakes, and rodents. Their diet can be extremely variable.
Even when food is scarce, the scorpions have the super ability to slow down their metabolism to one-third of the typical rate for Arthropods. They are strict predatory carnivores who consume larger species and insects. Scorpions make use of their venom to subdue their prey. Their predators are centipedes, shrews, owls, bats, hornbills, and coyotes. Predators like mongooses are resistant to their venom.
Behaviour of scorpions
The scorpions are mostly nonsocial kinds of arthropods. They are solitary animals who only interact during birth, courtship, or even cannibalism. However, they are at times aggressive also and might exhibit social behavior. Their preferable behavioral adaptations are the exploitation of burrowing and nocturnal habitat, and these habitats provide them a temporary escape from the daytime temperature. So, you can research more about them and learn about their behaviour. Since they are very distinctive species, understanding their behaviour can feel complex at times.
Reproduction and lifecycle of scorpions
Breeding scorpions occur in warm months, ranging from late spring to early fall. A complicated courtship precedes mating that the male initiates. The male scorpion faces and grasps the female using his pincers. As directed by the male scorpions, the pair move sideways and backward in a dance-like motion. While performing this motion, the pair finds the smooth surface on which the male can extrude a glandular secretion formed into a stock to which it is attached.
The male scorpions then intrigue the female so that her genital opening can contact the glandular secretion of the male. Once the female is positioned, the physical contact causes spermatozoa to be ejected into her genital opening. The male scorpions who stay near the females after mating are either killed or eaten. The immature scorpion remains on its mother’s back for a period between 1 to 50 days.
Fun facts about scorpions
The scorpions are highly effective predators as they possess unique characteristics which allow them to detect their prey. The scorpions existed around long before the first dinosaurs existed, and they are the oldest land animals that still exist. Scorpions are not insects; instead, they are Arachnids. Before mating, the scorpions are seen to perform a courtship ritual that resembles a dance. Unlike other Arachnids, scorpions give birth to live young.
Their babies are born 2 to 18 months after mating. The adult scorpions have fluorescent chemicals which make them glow under ultraviolet light. Even after millions of years, the scorpion fossils are seen to glow under UV light. All the scorpions have venom. Their venom includes a dozen different toxins, posing a serious threat to human life, especially where medical treatment is scarce. Despite having potential danger in their venom, the researchers have revealed that it is also helpful because of some compounds hiding there. It includes chlorotoxin, which is used for diagnosing and treating cancer.
The bottom line
Despite being a threat to human life, the compounds in their venom help treat major diseases. These species have survived until now with some unique characteristics and distinctive features. Found since the existence of dinosaurs, the scorpions are very different kinds of Arachnids.
So, if you want to know more about them, make sure you keep reading this article properly. We will come back with more useful information on the same. You will not be disappointed.