With over 1,500 species, scorpions are a fascinating animal. Since scorpions are a type of arachnid, they are closely related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Scorpions are considered an arthropod, as they have a segmented body, jointed appendages, and an exoskeleton. Most frequently found in Africa, southern Europe, western and southwestern portions of the United States, scorpions live in warm, dry areas and in the tropics. Antarctica is the only continent on which scorpions have not been found. The length of a scorpion ranges from one-half an inch to ten inches, though the length of the species in the United States typically ranges from one to three inches.
A Scorpion’s Eating Habits
Scorpions are nocturnal creatures and go out at night to look for food. To find their prey, scorpions rely on their sense of smell and their ability to interpret vibrations from their surroundings. To kill its prey, a scorpion starts by grabbing it with its claws. Then, the scorpion raises its stinger (at the end of its tail) over its head to sting and inject venom into its prey. This venom will paralyze and kill the prey. The venom causes the insides of their prey to turn to liquid, so that it can be sucked out. A scorpion typically preys on small insects, other arthropods, and sometimes small vertebrates.
A Scorpion’s Ability to Adapt
Scorpions are one of the most adaptable animals in existence – they can survive in the harshest environments and endure extreme food scarcities. Scorpions have the ability to slow their metabolism down to as little as one third the rate as most other arthropods, which has helped some to survive on as little to eat as a single insect in a year. Unlike many hibernating insects, scorpions are extremely opportunistic and are able to quickly join the hunt when there is a chance to catch food. Along with cockroaches, scorpions have been found to be one of the only animals to survive nuclear weapon detonation. It has also been discovered that scorpions have the ability to survive after being frozen in a block of ice for weeks.
A Scorpion’s Danger to Humans
Although there are almost 2,000 species of scorpions, only thirty to forty of these species have been found to have enough venom to make ill or kill a human. The Arizona bark scorpion is one of the most venomous scorpions; it can be deadly to children, the elderly, and those who are allergic to venom. Scorpions will attack an aggressor by biting or injecting venom, but usually only if they feel threatened since producing venom consumes energy.
How to be Safe Around Scorpions
To avoid getting stung by a scorpion, exercise caution when digging through junk, rock, or wood piles by wearing gloves. If you live in an area that is known to have an abundance of scorpions, such as in the American southwest, it is not a good idea to leave shoes outside, and if you do, carefully shake them out before putting them on. Scorpions are extremely sensitive to light; thus, you may also place outdoor lighting around your home to keep them from coming indoors.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a regular contributor here at INFOtainment News. He writes this on behalf of the Arizona Exterminating Company, your number one choice when looking for extermination services in Arizona. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!