35 Interesting Facts About Scorpions

  1. The scorpion is an invertebrate animal of class arachnids. It is distinguishable from other animals of its class through pair of grasping claws and a segmented tail with a venomous stinger.
  2. So far, more than 1,750 species of scorpions have been discovered. Out of these large number of known species, only about 25 have venom that can prove fatal for humans.
  3. Almost all the lethal scorpions are part of the family known as “Buthidae.” Scorpions of this family are present in many parts of the world, especially in North Africa and the Middle East.
  4. There is a misconception that scorpions commit suicide when surrounded by fire. In reality, scorpions and many other animals do not commit suicide under any circumstances. (Source)
  5. It is a wrong assumption that female scorpions commonly consume males after mating or that males sacrifice themselves. In fact, sexual cannibalism is rare among scorpions, and it only happens in case of food deprivation. (Source)
  6. Scorpions can live without food for a year. They do so by consuming a large quantity of food in a single sitting and slowing down their metabolic rate. (Source)
  7. The size of different species of scorpions differs considerably. The smallest scorpion is 9 mm (0.3 in) in length, while the size of the largest species is 23 cm (9 in). 
  8. Even most of the dangerous scorpions cannot kill healthy adult men. They are usually fatal against children and the elderly. Deathstalker is one of a few scorpions that can kill an adult person with its venomous sting. (Source)
    A man holding a scorpion
    Most of the scorpions cannot kill humans

  9. The deadliest and second-most venomous scorpions are fat-tailed scorpions. This Tunisian scorpion is responsible for 80% of stings and 90% of deaths in North Africa. These scorpions can kill a 70 kg healthy adult with their fatal venom. (Source)
  10. According to estimates, scorpions have been on earth for more than 430 million years. The oldest scorpion fossil has disclosed that they have retained their respiratory and circulatory systems for nearly 440 million years. (Source)
  11. Currently, scorpions are present everywhere on earth except Antarctica, Greenland, northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere (tundra and high-altitude taiga), and cliffs of permanently snow-clad mountains.
  12. Scorpions were not present naturally in many islands and coastal areas, including Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and a few islands in Oceania. Humans accidentally introduced scorpions to these islands.
  13. The grasshopper mouse, a desert-dwelling rodent, is resistant to the sting of bark scorpion’s lethal venom. The mouse can soothe its injured area with a swipe of the tongue. This type of behavior is the first among mammals. (Source)
  14. Spiders, ticks, and mites are the closest relatives of scorpions. However, some scientists argue that scorpions are not arachnids and their closest living relatives are horseshoe crabs
  15. Scorpions can live and grow in various habitats in arid, tropical, and temperate environments. These include deserts, forests, grasslands, and savannahs.
  16. Scorpions are burrowing animals and cannot survive in areas without soil. It is the reason that they are not present in places with permafrost or heavy grasses, where loose soil is absent.
  17. The ideal temperature for scorpions is between 20 and 37 Celsius. But scorpions can survive and live in the temperature range of -30 to 50 Celsius.
  18. Scorpions glow under UV light (especially the black spectrum). The blue-green glow of the scorpion under UV light is the result of a chemical present in the cuticle of its exoskeleton. (Source)
  19. According to a hypothesis, the scorpion’s entire body acts as a light receptor. It could be the reason behind its glow under UV light. (Source)
  20. All known scorpion species possess venom. They transmit it to their prey through stingers on the tip of their tails.
  21. Scorpion venom is dangerous, but it also has several medicinal properties. The peptides present in its venom have the potential to kill cancer cells. It can prove to be a successful cancer treatment in future drugs. (Source)
  22. The effectiveness of scorpion venom has also been proven against rheumatoid arthritis (RA). One of the components in scorpion venom has reduced the severity of RA in animals. It happened without side effects produced by other treatments. (Source)
  23. Apart from the above diseases, there are solid grounds for using scorpion venom to treat cardiovascular and immune problems. These substances also have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. (Source)
  24. Due to its potential benefits and extreme scarcity, scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid in the world. It can cost up to $39 million per gallon. One scorpion produces a maximum of 2 mg of venom at a time. (Source)
  25. Scorpions have between six to twelve eyes, but their eyesight is poor. However, they have excellent low light sensitivity, which assists them in navigation by stars or moonlight and avoiding harsh sunlight.  
  26. Scorpion babies ride on the mother’s back for initial 10 to 20 days. The mother may eat her baby in case of scarcity of food. (Source)
    Young scorpions on mother's back
    Young scorpions ride on mother's back for few days

  27. A bug similar to scorpions is known as pseudoscorpion. These animals lack the stinger present in all true scorpions. They are harmless to humans and feed on household pests. (Source)
  28. Scorpions can survive underwater for several hours. They can take oxygen through their exoskeletons and store it for two hours. (Source)
  29. Scorpions eat insects, rodents, lizards, frogs, and other scorpions. They can only ingest liquid food and use their chelicerae to dispose off solid matter and take their food only in a liquefied state.
  30. After expending its storage of venom, a scorpion takes two weeks or more to regenerate venom in its body.
  31. The age range for scorpions is different according to the species. They may live from 6 months to 25 years.
  32. Scorpions hibernate during winters in a warm place. Scorpions are usually solitary animals, but few species spend winter together in large groups.
  33. Scorpions are edible. They are full of protein and have a high-calorie count. They have a high population in several areas and are easy to capture. Cooked scorpions taste like chicken skin, shrimp, or popcorn. (Source)
  34. Scorpions perform a special dance before mating. Their courtship and mating process lasts from 2 to 15 minutes. Some species can reproduce without mating. (Source)
  35. A scorpion will molt around six times before growing to full size. The molting process takes a lot of energy and completes in up to 12 hours.

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