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Scorpion Facts

  • Scorpions are predatory animals of the class Arachnida, making them cousins to spiders, mites and ticks.
  • Scorpions have eight legs, a pair of pincers (pedipalps) and a narrow segmented tail that often curves over their back, on the end of which is a venomous stinger.
  • The scorpion uses their pincers to quickly grab prey and then whip their poisonous tail stinger over to kill or paralyze the prey. The tail is also used as a useful defence against predators.
  • Scorpion species range in size from 0.09 cm to 20 cm.
  • Scorpions can be found on all continents except for Antarctica.
  • There are over 1750 known species of scorpion. While humans generally fear the scorpion and its poisonous sting only about 25 of the species have venom capable of killing a human.
  • Under UV light such as a black light scorpions are known to glow due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in their exoskeleton.
  • The scorpion is nocturnal, often hiding during the day under rocks and in holes in the ground before emerging at night to feed.
  • Scorpions can eat a massive amount of food in one meal. Their large food storage organs, together with a low metabolism rate and an inactive lifestyle means that if necessary they can survive 6-12 months without eating again.
  • Areas of China have a traditional dish of fried scorpion, and scorpion wine features in Chinese medicine.
  • The scorpion is one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, with the Scorpio constellation identified in the stars.
  • Scorpions moult, they shed their exoskeleton up to 7 times as they grow to full size. They become vulnerable to predators each time until their new protective exoskeleton hardens.

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