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How Strong are Scorpions?

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How Strong are Scorpions?

Scorpions are one of the most fascinating arachnids out there.

Besides inhabiting every continent except Antarctica and glowing in the dark, they also possess weapons not found in other animals.

They are a true marvel of nature that has adapted to pretty much every possible environment. Not only adapted to but also dominated in.

One could make an argument that scorpions are some of the most unique animals on Earth.

However, just how strong are they?

Is the venom inside a stinger that lethal? and are scorpion pincers capable of injuring humans?

This is Wild and domestic and today we will tell you a story of scorpions, everything from their unique quirks and habitats to predation techniques and toxicity.

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Facts About Scorpions

How Strong are Scorpions?

Scorpions belong to the class of arachnids, which are invertebrate animals with 8 legs, but they’re much more than that.

Scorpions are cousins of spiders but are characterized by their signature pincers and a segmented tail that is geared with a deadly stinger.

We will come back to scorpion weapons later down the line, but now let’s get to know these unique arachnids.

There are over 2500 discovered scorpion species, with as many as 1000 speculated to be yet discovered.

As a result, scorpions are extremely varied in their size, appearance, and other characteristics.

However, we can still give you a crash course on the features that all scorpion species share.

First of all, scorpions are viviparous, meaning females develop their babies inside their bodies and give live birth, just like mammals do.

However, unlike mammals, scorpions are equipped with a protective exoskeleton that… Glows in the dark!

That’s right, all scorpion species are fluorescent due to chemicals found inside their armor.

That being said, they only glow under certain wavelengths of UV light, so you’re not going to see glowing scorpions roaming around in the dark.

Most scorpion species prey on other invertebrates, but some bigger species are known to occasionally lunch on small vertebrates.

While most other arachnids, like spiders, live only for a few weeks or months, most scorpions have a lifespan of 2-6 years.

However, there are several cases of scorpions surviving for over 25 years in captivity!

Scorpion Habitat

How Strong are Scorpions?

Now let’s talk about their habitat. Many people think that scorpions only inhabit arid deserts, but they actually can be found on every continent except Antarctica

For example, there are over 75 species of scorpions spread all around Europe.

The most widespread European scorpion genus is commonly called small wood scorpions, which includes 17 different species.

You can find different members of small wood scorpions everywhere from Spain and France to Czechia and Russia.

The length of these scorpions ranges from 0.6-inches (1.5 cm) in Germany to 2-inches (5 cm) in Italy and their color can be anything from yellow to dark brown.

What’s fascinating is that scorpions are extremely adaptable. Like really, really adaptable.

As a result, there are many endemic species, meaning they are only found in one specific area.

For example, Aegaeobuthus cyprius was discovered in 2000 and is only found in Cyprus, and Euscorpius beroni, discovered the same year, inhabits just the mountains of Albania.

Moving from Europe, Asia has an even wider variety of scorpion species, but the most infamous ones belong to the Heterometrus genus, also called Asian forest scorpions.

Giant forest scorpion.

How Strong are Scorpions?

As the name implies, this genus is home to some really big boys, the biggest is called the giant forest scorpion.

It inhabits the tropical climate of India and Sri Lanka, and can grow up to 9-inches (23 cm) in length and 2-ounces (56 g) in weight!

Its exoskeleton color ranges from reddish-brown to black, and they can be found hiding in abandoned rat or crab holes, termite mounds, and even tree hallows.

So if you don’t want to meet this nightmare fuel in real life, avoid going close to dark holes in the wild!

If you’re from the United States, you might think that scorpions can only be found in the deserts spanning the southwest of your country.

Sorry to ruin it for you, but various scorpion species can be found all across the U.S, from the east in Tennesse, to the north in Nebraska.

Luckily, the most widespread scorpion-like arachnids in the U.S are actually not real scorpions, but small animals belonging to the Pseudoscorpion order.

At the first glance, they look like scorpions, but they lack the signature tail with a stinger and are only 0.04 – 0.3 inches long (1 to 7.5 mm), so you don’t have to worry that much!

Scorpions in Australia

However, you have to worry about scorpions if you like in Australia.

As the internet memes say, everything in Australia will kill you, and it’s true to some extent if we’re talking about scorpions.

There are about 30 different species of scorpions inhabiting this continent, the largest being the Flinders Range scorpion, which can reach over 4.5-inches in length (12cm) and can be found in eastern Australia.

Flying back to the Americas, this time to Brazil, we can find the Brazilian yellow scorpion, which grows up to 3-inches in length (7 cm) and is one of the most toxic scorpion species in the world.

We’ll talk about the scorpion venom soon, but before that let’s see what kind of species we can find in Africa.

Naturally, this continent is home to hundreds of scorpion species that inhabit every climate zone from arid deserts to tropical rainforests.

Just the Sahara alone hosts over 30 scorpion species, the most notable being the deathstalker.

Just the name alone makes this 2.5-inches (6.4 cm) long scorpion worth mentioning, but it’s also gifted with an exoskeleton whose color ranges from yellow to neon-lime.

All this being said, let’s move to the meat of the matter.

How Strong are Scorpions?

Scorpions are unique because they have two offensive weapons they use to prey on their victims. It’s their powerful pincers and a fatal venom packed in their stinger.

To answer how strong are scorpions, we have to take a look at the purpose of both of these tools separately.

As you’ve already seen, scorpion species vary wildly, and their primary way of attack also differs by the species.

However, as a rule of thumb, the bigger the scorpion, the more likely it possesses powerful pincers, but weaker toxins. A similar rule applies the other way.

The smaller the pincers compared to the size of the scorpion, the deadlier is its poison.

The reasoning behind this rule becomes clear when we deconstruct the way scorpions use these weapons to survive.

Most big scorpion species simply use their pincers to crush their prey to death. As a result, they didn’t need to develop a potent toxin in their stingers to finish off their prey.

How strong is scorpion pincers?

One study from 2010 found that despite not being the largest in size, the Tanzanian red-clawed scorpion had one of the strongest pincer grip strengths of all tested scorpion species.

These scorpions grow up to 5-inches (12.5 cm) in length, and besides preying on insects, their diet often includes small rodents and frogs.

Tanzanian red-clawed scorpions rarely if ever use their stinger for the offense, because simply catching its prey between pincers is enough to take it down.

Despite possessing such power, scorpion pincers are not a huge threat to humans.

If your finger somehow ended up in the way of their grasp, it wouldn’t break bones or prick the skin.

However, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t hurt either and you should definitely avoid putting your fingers in such situations!

How strong is a scorpion stinger?

That being said, the thing that could do some serious damage is the stinger.

As we’ve mentioned, the smaller the pincers relative to the scorpions’ body, the deadlier is its venom.

It’s because smaller scorpion species evolved to use their pincers to lock their prey in position for the final blow with their tail, injecting venom through the stinger.

While all scorpions have venomous stingers, only about 30 known species are capable of lethally injuring a human being.

Palestine yellow scorpion(deathstalker)

How Strong are Scorpions?

The most venomous species is the previously mentioned deathstalker, also called Palestine yellow scorpion.

Its stinger carries a mixture of toxins, including chlorotoxin, scyllatoxin, and agitoxin. It results in an extremely potent venom, that has a lethal dose of just 0.25mg/kg.

However, these pretty boys only carry about 2mg of venom in their stinger, meaning most healthy adults survive the sting.

Unfortunately, even surviving the sting can lead to numerous health complications, the most common being pancreatitis.

Additionally, children and elders are much more susceptible to this venom and should be treated with antivenom immediately after being stung.

Now you know just how strong are scorpions, and which ones you should really be aware of.

Just for a quick reminder of the rule of thumb – the bigger the claws, the less potent the venom.

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