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Scorpions: 

Beautiful but Deadly Creatures

Scorpions

By Hannah Paek 

NOTE: 

No scorpions were harmed in making this book.

Dedicated to:

All The Scorpions out there. We hope you get more respect after this. 

My Parents, for their encouragement. 

My Teacher, Mrs. Jones for all her help.

 

 

It scuttled and scurried across the burning sand, its mandibles gnashing. Armor clattered as it swiped the unfortunate spider up with its huge, sharp pincers, mandibles ready to dig in. This terrifying beast  is the scorpiones, better known as the scorpion. They range from the size of a slice of cake to the entire cake, but don't underestimate the smaller ones, for they can be the most deadly. Around since the dinos, scorpions are still here to bug us or charm us today.

 Scorpions, Scorpions, and more Scorpions

 

 

1,500. That's the approximate number of scorpion species that live on Planet Earth today. All of them have some venom, of course, but only 50 or so have strong enough venom to actually be able to kill you. Most of them live in the Middle East, Australia, and deserts like the Sahara and Gobi. The most poisonous scorpion, the Deathstalker scoripon, lives in the Middle East. There is a lot of argument whether the Deathstalker is the most poisonous, or the Indian Red Scorpion is. In truth, the Deathstalker is more poisonous, but the Indian Red stings much more people, according to studies. Both of these nasties, and all the other killer nasties belong to the Budithae family. The more poisonous scorpions are the smaller ones. Because they are smaller, these guys make up for size with its highly dangerous venom. So if you want to meet a scorpion, hope that it's big. 

 

 

Scorp Fact:

In Arizona, there are over 45 Scorpion species. The most common one there is the most poisonous in the area, being one of the scorpions that can kill you. 

1, 500. That is the approximate 

The bigger, the better. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not. In the case of scorpons, its true for us, at least. If you're a person who absolutely despises these little guys, and would rather have a small one than a big one, be warned. The smaller the scorpion, the more likely it is to belong to the Budithae family. One of the biggest scorpions in the world, the Heterometrus Swammerdami, is the true biggest scorpion in the world. Most people say that the Emperor scorpon is the largest, but the Swammerdami beats him by a few centimeters. Since it is so big, the Swammerdami's venom is almost harmless to us, but their pincers could probably take off a finger. Emperor scorpions are also very popular pets. Pet scorpion, anyone?

 

The Big, the small, and the deadly

Emperor Scorpion

Microtityus minimus

A gazillion years ago, dinosaurs roamed the land. Not Barney, but the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Most dinosaurs lived on land, however. In the sea, some of the oldest things in existence lived. Sharks, sea reptiles, and the scorpion’s primordial ancestor, the sea scorpion, called the Pentecopterus. It was longer than the average human male’s height. Living 467 million years ago, these sea scorpions were far more deadly than their present-day forms.

Since Neanderthals.. And longer

A desert is a hard place to live for an arachnid smaller than a mug. As a result, scorpions adapted themselves to be able to live in a lot of places. Scorpions are nocturnal, so during the day, they burrow under some rock. How does the scorpion avoid getting squashed like a bug under that rock, you ask? They have an exoskeleton harder than the rock. It keeps the scorpion from becoming an arachnid crepe.

Gifts from Nature

X

=

Some of the scorpion’s body parts are a little unnecessary, and some is what keeps it alive. One of the more useful parts are the pedipalps. Pedipalps are the scorpion’s pincers, which allow him to grab his prey, and crush it. Pedipalps can be big or small, depending on the scorpion’s venom. The Deathstalker scorpion has very small pedipalps, while the Heterometrus Swammerdami has huge pedipalps.

Not-so Useless Parts

Another useful part is the chelicerae. The chelicerae is the scorpion’s mandibles. Scorpions can only eat liquids, so they use their chelicerae to rip up the prey, and liquidize it into bug juice. Most arachnids can’t eat solids, such as spiders and ticks. Scorpions are just another example of that.

 

Not-so Useless Parts: Part 2

Scorpions are not typically animals people like. Chances are, you don’t like them. I do. Anyways, most sane human beings don’t like touching and holding them. Scorpions don’t like us, either. They have an excuse; If someone the size of a skyscraper fried your Uncle Bob, you would be scared of them. That’s right; we fry and eat scorpions, and make them into juice. It’s a custom to eat scorpions in some countries. It’s us, the humans against an arachnid usually smaller than our hands.

We like them, We hate them, We eat them 

Scorp Fact:

Scorpions are used for medicine in countries such as China. Fried scorpion on a stick is a delicacy. 

Scorpions have a lot of predators. One predator is a very unlikely one; the domestic chicken. That’s right; the chicken. They like to crunch on poor little scorpions. Little grasshopper mice eat scorpions like take-out. Pallid bats like to swoop down from the great beyond and grab a plump, juicy, poor, unsuspecting scorpion. All these animals make scorpions pee their armor.

Gourmet Scorpion

Scorpions aren’t at the bottom of the food chain, though. They eat things smaller than them. Scorpions are like school bullies, picking on the littler kids and staying away from kids stronger than them. They eat grasshoppers, spiders, and big, mean scorpions eat the wee little ones. Most of the time, scorpions use their pincers, known as pedipalps to crush their prey instead of venom. Then, they tear the prey apart with their mandibles, known as chelicerae.  

 

Scorpion Food

Heh, heh, heh....

At the start of life, scorpions are teeny-weeny little scorplings. They are born alive inside their mother’s body, and latch onto their mother’s back until their first molting, after which they leave to start their life. They might have to molt eight more times before they are a full-grown scorpion. Sometimes, scorpions just die before maturity, which is just sad. There are some scorpions that live up to 10 years, if lucky.

A Scorpion's Life

Scorpions are very well-known in legends. For instance, a Greek myth about scorpions is the legend of Orion. Orion was a giant from Greek mythology, who was a great hunter. Even the gods respected his skill. One day, Orion became too proud, and was blinded by his own power. He killed every last animal that lived on his island. Eventually, his mother, the goddess Gaea sent a giant scorpion up to the earth to stop her son. The scorpion struck Orion in the heart with its stinger, killing the deranged hunter. Depressing, huh?

 

The Legends of Scorpions

Scorp Fact:

One of the 12 zodiac members is Scorpio, the scorpion. It was based off the legend of Orion. 

Scorpions aren't only in Greek Myths. In Egyptian mythology, scorpions were associated with evil. People prayed to the scorpion goddess Serqet for protection from scorpion bites. In an Egyptian story, the goddess Isis was traveling with seven scorpions, and asked a woman to shelter her for the night. The woman refused, seeing the scorpions. Isis then had all seven scorpions combine their venom, and sting the woman’s son. The woman begged for forgiveness, and Isis revived the son.

 

The Legends of Scorpions: Part 2

When someone asks you, “Where do scorpions live?” 75% of you will answer, “Deserts.” 75% of you get partial credit. Scorpions do live in deserts, but they also live in other places. Scorpions live anywhere with loose soil. In forests, scorpions burrow into the ground and grab their prey when they need to. Scorpions sometimes cause sewer problems by living there. People assume scorpions live there because they need water, but actually, scorpions live there due to the sheer amount of creepy-crawlies in the sewers. Scorpions are most common in deserts, however. If you live in the desert, check your shoes every morning…..

 

Where They Live

People believe anything that they see in print. As a result, a lot of things about scorpions that are not true is believed. One such example is the myth that if surrounded in fire, a scorpion will sting himself to death. There are a lot of reasons that this is impossible. One reason is that a scorpion’s own venom has no effect on himself. Also, scorpions are known for having burrows, so there is a chance he could just dig himself out.

Completly False Myths

okay..

Some bees die after stinging something once. Scorpions are much different. They control the amount of venom they put in a sting, so they could either empty a molecule or its entire supply to you! After a scorpion uses up all its venom, it could take weeks to refill. Some scorpions are able to squirt venom like the world’s most deadly squirt gun. These scorpions are from the Parabuthus family. Ugh.

Special Abilities

Along with the cockroach, scorpions are one of the animals most likely to survive a nuclear explosion. They can be exposed to high amounts of radiation, so it’s REALLY hard to kill one with the garden hose. If you have a scorpion problem, you have to hire someone that specializes in killing them, because they don’t die from bug spray and normal bug killing chemicals. If you can’t afford a special exterminator, there are cheaper methods. Scorpions can’t stand the sweet-smelling, lovely, pretty, lavender. Put lavenders along your house, or pour lavender oil everywhere. It’s really not that hard.

eeeek!!!

Resistance

Scorp Fact:

Under ultraviolet light, 

certain scorpions glow due

to certain chemicals in their 

exoskeleton.

Have you heard the term “blind as a bat”? It should be the term, “blind as a scorpion.” Even with eight eyes, scorpions are blind as a bat. This is why they are able to go along by feeling vibrations in the ground. A certain set of vibrations may mean a feast, and another an early grave.

Hmmm... danger nearby? Nah...

Blind as a Bat

I

o-o

A lot of countries hold enough scorpions to make an army. Actually, six out of the seven continents have scorpions on them. Antarctica is too frozen for scorpions to burrow. In Phoenix, Arizona, in our very own U.S.A, an estimated 45 species live there. The most common is the Bark Scorpion, which happens to be one of the scorpion species that can kill you. Australia has some of the most dangerous scorpions, along with most dangerous spiders, most dangerous snakes, most dangerous sharks, most dangerous crocodiles…. Too much most dangerous animals.

 

Armies of Scorpions

How will the scorpion eat and drink in the desert? First of all, scorpions don’t only live in deserts. They can live anywhere. Second of all, like most desert creatures, scorpions have adapted to the lack of water. The desert variety can live on two bugs and a drop of water a year! The sewer variety gets more food and water around, so it needs more food. They're a bit more pampered than their cousins. 

 

Hungry, Hungry Scorpions...

Nah...

Scorpions are misunderstood arachnids, and people are often misinformed about them. As a result, people aren’t appreciative about some very beautiful creatures that just look frightening, like the scorpion. In some ways, scorpions aren’t very different from us. Just because they aren’t pretty doesn’t mean that they’re more evil than Lord Voldemort and Darth Vader combined. In fact, scorpions are pretty cool arachnids if you think about it.

Adios

Please don't hate us... We don't bite...

Where In the World

NOTE: We apologize for having photographs. 

Venom Ratings

Deathstalker: 10/10

Deathstalker scorpions are the world's most deadly scorpion. They have venom enough to kill an adult in just a few hours. They have very potent venom, but this is because Deathstalkers are quite small .

Heterometrus Swammerdami: 3/10

The Swammerdami is the world's largest scorpion. Due to its size, it doesn't need venom for food, as it can simply crush its prey between its massive pedipalps. The BIGGER the better. 

Arizona Bark Scorpion: 7/10

The Arizona Bark Scorpion is the most common scorpion in Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunaely for the Phoenix residants, the Bark Scorpion happens to be one of the deadliest scorpions in the area, being dangerous to children and the elderly. Its size is a bit larger than the Deathstalker.